Accessibility links

Breaking News

U.K. Detains Son Of Ousted Kyrgyz President


Maksim Bakiev, the youngest son of former Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev, is sought in his home country on suspicion of financial crimes.
A son of fugitive former Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev has been arrested in London after a U.S. request to extradite him.

The Metropolitan Police said Maksim Bakiev voluntarily handed himself over at a London police station on October 12 and was arrested on charges of "conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice” in the United States between 2010 and 2012.

The BBC reported that he appeared in Westminster Magistrates' Court on the charges later that day.

His reaction to the charges was not immediately available.

Bakiev, 35, arrived in Britain and applied for asylum after his father was ousted as president in April 2010, saying that he had been forced into exile out of fear for his life.

He is wanted in Kyrgyzstan for crimes including the alleged misappropriation of millions of dollars' worth of state funds.

A former head of the Kyrgyz Central Agency for Development, he has been linked with alleged corrupt schemes in the sale of fuel to a strategically valuable U.S. air base in Kyrgyzstan.

A Kyrgyz court has made a request for his arrest to the international police organization Interpol.

Sapar Isakov, head of the Foreign Police Department in the presidential office of Kyrgyzstan, told RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service that Kyrgyzstan would pursue Maksim Bakiev's extradition but said the lack of an extradition treaty between Bishkek and London was a stumbling block.

"Of course Kyrgyzstan will demand his extradition," Isakov said. "But, firstly, there is no extradition treaty with Great Britain. Insofar as the U.S.A. has also requested Bakiev's extradition, and there is a corresponding treaty, then officially London is considering the request to hand over Maxim Bakiev to the U.S.A."

In a statement, the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek said that if convicted, Bakiev “could face a lengthy prison sentence."

The British Embassy in Kyrgyzstan also released a statement, saying: "We are conscious that...the leadership and people of Kyrgyzstan are keen to ensure that those accused of past abuses of power are brought before the courts to answer allegations against them."

The mainly Muslim Central Asian state of 5.5 million has been plagued by instability.

Two presidents, including Bakiev, have been toppled since 2005.

The elder Bakiev has been granted political asylum in Belarus.

With additional reporting by Reuters