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Kyrgyz Police Seeking Second Suspect In Journalist's Killing

Alisher Saipov was murdered in Osh, Kyrgyzstan, in 2007.
Alisher Saipov was murdered in Osh, Kyrgyzstan, in 2007.
Kyrgyzstan's Interior Ministry says that a second suspect is being sought in the 2007 murder of independent journalist Alisher Saipov, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Interior Ministry spokesman Oljobay Kazybaev told RFE/RL that Abdufarit Rasulov was detained shortly after the killing, and the search for another suspect -- identified only as Sharakhmatullaev -- was recently launched as the investigation continues.

Last week, the New-York based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called on Kyrgyz authorities to make public the findings of their investigation into Saipov's murder.

Saipov, 26, was the editor of the local Uzbek-language newspaper "Siyosat" (Politics) and had previously reported for RFE/RL and Voice of America. He was shot dead by an unknown assailant on October 24, 2007, as he left his office in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh.

Saipov's colleagues suspect he may have been killed by agents of neighboring Uzbekistan since he often wrote critical articles in Uzbek about the situation in that country.

Kazybaev told RFE/RL last week that the "opinions" about the alleged involvement of Kyrgyz or Uzbek security services into the murder are wrong because the main suspect in Saipov's killing, Rasulov, has been arrested and his case will begin soon.

But Rasulov's lawyer, Zina Alymbekova, told RFE/RL that her client never met Saipov and has nothing to do with the crime. She said he only confessed to being involved in the killing under duress and torture during the investigation.