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Kyrgyz Opposition Politician's Trial Resumes

Alikbek Jekshenkulov appears in court.
Alikbek Jekshenkulov appears in court.
BISHKEK -- A Bishkek district court resumed hearings into the case against former Foreign Minister Alikbek Jekshenkulov today, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The trial was previously postponed due to the absence of a key witness.

Jekshenkulov is charged with involvement in the murder of a Turkish businessman in 2007 in the northwestern city of Talas.

Investigators say the businessman was shot with a pistol that belonged to Jekshenkulov. He denies the accusations, saying that they are politically motivated because of his work with the opposition For Justice movement.

Some of Jekshenkulov's relatives -- including a brother -- were also charged with various crimes this summer. Jekshenkulov says the charges are a government attempt to damage his reputation and pressure him.

Jekshenkulov was foreign minister from 2005-07.