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Former Kyrgyz Minister Who Detained Atambaev Placed Under House Arrest

Kursan Asanov (file photo)

BISHKEK -- Former Kyrgyz Deputy Interior Minister Kursan Asanov, who personally negotiated former President Almazbek Atambaev's surrender after a deadly two-day standoff earlier in August, has been placed under house arrest.

The Birinchi Mai district court in Bishkek ruled late on August 27 that Asanov must be placed under house arrest until October 13 while allegations that he abused his authority during his negotiations with Atambaev on August 8 are being investigated.

On August 13, Asanov was fired from his post for "betraying the interests of the Kyrgyz police and losing confidence."

The Prosecutor-General's Office said later that Asanov and his assistant, Damirbek Paizylda Uulu, had allegedly provided Atambaev and his supporters with secret information and unspecified items during clashes between the former president's supporters and law enforcement troops in and near Atambaev’s residential compound in the village of Koi-Tash on August 7-8.

The resistance put up by the former president and his supporters resulted in the death of one special forces officer and injuries to more than 170 other people, including 79 law enforcement officers.

Atambaev eventually surrendered to Asanov-led police forces on August 8.

The move to detain Atambaev was sparked by his refusal to obey three subpoenas summoning him to the Interior Ministry for questioning. Kyrgyz authorities had initially said that Atambaev faced five counts of criminally abusing his office during his 2011-17 term.

Atambaev's pretrial detention was prolonged until October 26.

On August 22, police arrested Azanov’s lawyer, Ikramidin Aitkulov, and charged him with fraud. He was later placed under house arrest until October 21.

Aitkulov told RFE/RL that the case against him was launched to impose pressure on Asanov.

On August 24, Paizylda Uulu was arrested and a day later was sent to pretrial detention until October 23.

The situation around Atambaev's arrest underscored a power struggle between Atambaev and his handpicked successor, Sooronbai Jeenbekov, that has raised fears of instability in the Central Asian nation.