BISHKEK -- A Kyrgyz Presidential Secretariat official says the administration is very skeptical of comments made by a political analyst that Russia has frozen the bank accounts of businesses related to Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev's son, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.
Aleksandr Knyazev, the director of the Bishkek branch of the Commonwealth of Independent States Institute, said at a press conference on January 26 that some funds of companies linked to Maksim Bakev -- son of the president and recently appointed head of the Kyrgyz Central Development Agency -- were frozen and the firms' activities suspended.
Knyazev said 18 criminal cases have been opened in Russia against Kyrgyz businesses, including the Altyn holding company. He added that the investigation is being controlled by the Russian presidential administration.
But Maksim Kaganer, the deputy chief of the Kyrgyz Presidential Secretariat, told RFE/RL that Knyazev should first present evidence that the companies and bank accounts in question belong to Maksim Bakiev.
For his part, Maksim Bakiev told Kyrgyz news agency 24.kg that he has no bank accounts or company shares in Russia. He added that he is not listed as an owner of the Altyn holding company -- which has had its offices raided and employees arrested in Russia.
Maksim Bakiev said that if he had any ties to the frozen bank accounts or suspended businesses, the Russian media would have written extensively about it but has not yet done so.
Knyazev said that his sources for the information are Russian media outlets, but when asked to specify which ones he replied "search the Internet."
Knyazev was beaten and robbed in Bishkek on December 9. Four assailants attacked him near his apartment and took his briefcase and laptop.
Knyazev is as a well-known political analyst who has often criticized the foreign policy of the Kyrgyz government.