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Kyrgyz Official: Bakiev Should Be Extradited For 'Crimes'

The chief of staff of Kyrgyzstan's interim government says former President Kurmanbek Bakiev should be held accountable for "crimes against the Kyrgyz nation," RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Edil Baisalov told RFE/RL's Belarus Service that Kyrgyzstan's interim government respects the decision of the "brotherly Belarusian nation to provide...Bakiev with asylum."

But he said that it was very likely that Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka did not have sufficient information about what happened in Kyrgyzstan during Bakiev's presidency and during clashes between antigovernment protesters and security forces in Bishkek on April 7.

"There is not a single family in Kyrgyzstan that was not affected by the bloody events of April 7 and Kurmanbek Bakiev has to face justice for that," Baisalov said.

He added that Kyrgyzstan's neighbors and Russia refused to offer Bakiev any kind of support or asylum because "our neighbors know very well what happened in Kyrgyzstan and they simply tried to stay away from Bakiev."

"We are very happy that Bakiev is in a civilized European country now and there is no need for us to search for him in African forests or Asian caves," Baisalov continued.

"So we will just come to the center of Europe and Belarus -- as a member of the United Nations, the [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe], and the [Commonwealth of Independent States] -- will fulfill its obligations in the framework of the Minsk convention on the extradition of criminal suspects."

Lukashenka announced on April 20 that Bakiev and members of his family are in Belarus.

Bakiev, who fled the Kyrgyz capital after the violent clashes on April 7, left Kyrgyzstan for neighboring Kazakhstan last week.

Kyrgyzstan's interim government has opened criminal cases against Bakiev, his sons, and several of his brothers for their roles in the shooting of protesters in Bishkek that contributed to 85 people being killed and hundreds of others injured.