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Convicted Former Top Kyrgyz Officials Transferred To Different Prisons

Former Prime Minister Sapar Isakov was one of those transferred.

BISHKEK -- Two former Kyrgyz prime ministers convicted on corruption charges stemming from their involvement in a 2013 project to modernize the Bishkek Thermal Power Station have been transferred to different penitentiaries.

The State Penitentiary Service (JAMK) said on April 22 that former Prime Minister Sapar Isakov, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison, was transferred to the Correctional Colony No. 8 in the northern village of Petrovka, while another former Prime Minister Jantoro Satybaldiev was sent to serve his 7 1/2-year prison term to the Correctional Colony No. 47 on the Bishkek outskirts.

The former chief of the electric stations company, Salaidin Avazov, who was also convicted in the high-profile case and sentenced to 11 years and 3 months, was transferred from a detention center in Bishkek to the Correctional Colony No. 27 in the village of Moldovanovka in the northern Chui region.

It was not immediately clear as to why the men were moved.

Isakov's lawyers said on April 22 that their client's transfer was illegal as another case against him and former officials is pending.

The three men were sentenced in December 2019.

The high-profile corruption trial has implicated several former top Kyrgyz officials who allegedly are close associates of former President Almazbek Atambaev, who is currently on trial as well.

The probes against Isakov were launched amid tensions between Atambaev and current President Sooronbai Jeenbekov, a former prime minister who was tapped by Atambaev as his favored successor in Kyrgyzstan's October 2017 presidential election.

Atambaev was arrested in August last year after he surrendered to police following two days of violent resistance following his refusal to show up at police headquarters for questioning in an investigation into his alleged involvement in the illegal release of a jailed organized-crime boss in 2013.

Atambaev and the 13 codefendants in the case were charged with murder, attempted murder, threatening or assaulting representatives of authorities, hostage taking, and forced seizure of power.