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Trial Of Former Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Starts

Alikbek Jekshenkulov is now a leading opposition voice.
BISHKEK -- A Birinshi Mai District Court in the Kyrgyz capital has begun hearings into the case against a leading member of the United Opposition movement, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Alikbek Jekshenkulov is charged with involvement in the murder of a Turkish businessman and abuse of office while serving as Kyrgyzstan's foreign mininster.

Witnesses testified at the hearing, at which Jekshenkulov, who has since joined the opposition, pleaded not guilty.

He and his lawyers insist that all the charges are politically motivated.

The trial will resume on June 26.