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Former Kyrgyz Prosecutor-General Under House Arrest On Corruption Charge

Former Kyrgyz Prosecutor-General Indira Joldubaeva (file photo)
Former Kyrgyz Prosecutor-General Indira Joldubaeva (file photo)

BISHKEK -- Former Kyrgyz Prosecutor-General Indira Joldubaeva has been placed under house arrest on a corruption charge.

The Interior Ministry said on August 22 that Joldubaeva was suspected of involvement in the illegal early release of a criminal boss, Aziz Batukaev, from prison in 2013 when she led the presidential office's department for judicial-system reform.

Joldubaeva became Kyrgyzstan's prosecutor-general after then-President Almazbek Atambaev proposed her candidacy to lawmakers in April 2015.

She was sacked from the post in April last year in the wake of a growing standoff between Atambaev and his handpicked successor, President Sooronbai Jeenbekov.

Batukaev, who was convicted of several high-profile crimes including the murders of a Kyrgyz lawmaker and an Interior Ministry official, was granted early release after being diagnosed with leukemia in 2013.

His diagnosis was later found to have been falsified.

Atambaev and about 20 other former top Kyrgyz officials were charged with involvement in Batukaev’s release.

Atambaev, who was placed under arrest following a violent two-day standoff with law enforcement on August 7-8 at his residential compound near Bishkek, has also been charged with abusing his office during his 2011-2017 term, violence against representatives of the state, organizing mass unrest, masterminding a murder attempt, hostage taking, and the illegal use of firearms.

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The move to detain Atambaev was sparked by his refusal to obey three subpoenas summoning him to the Interior Ministry for questioning.

The standoff between security forces and his supporters resulted in the death of a top security officer and more than 170 injuries -- 79 of them sustained by law enforcement officers.

The violence underscored a power struggle between Atambaev and Jeenbekov that has raised fears of instability in the Central Asian nation.

The Prosecutor-General's office said on August 22 that one of Atambaev's closest allies, lawmaker Irina Karamushkina, who was at Atambaev's compound during the stand-off, is suspected of hostage taking and being an accomplice to a crime.

The Prosecutor-General's office told RFE/RL on August 16 that Atambaev's wife, Raisa Atambaeva, is also under investigation, without giving any details.

Atambaeva told reporters that the probe against her was launched in connection with the case of the ex-chief of the presidential office's department for judicial system reform, Manasbek Arabaev, who was charged with corruption in June.