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Former Osh Mayor Myrzakmatov Sentenced In Absentia

OSH, Kyrgyzstan -- A controversial former mayor of Kyrgyzstan's second-largest city has been sentenced to seven years in absentia.

The Osh City Court sentenced Melis Myrzakhmatov on July 22 after finding him guilty of abuse of power and corruption.

The longtime mayor of Osh, Myrzakmatov was the only prominent official with ties to former President Kurmanbek Bakiev who managed to hold onto his post after Bakiev's ouster and deadly interethnic clashes in Osh and nearby areas in 2010.

The Central Asian nation's government managed to sack Myrzakmatov in December 2013 after several unsuccessful attempts.

Myrzakmatov failed to regain his post in a January 2014 election, and later disappeared after Kyrgyz authorities began investigating allegations that he had ordered illegal infrastructure projects.

His current whereabouts are unknown.