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Former Kyrgyz Officials Go On Trial Over May Unrest

Iskhak Masaliev
Iskhak Masaliev
BISHKEK -- The trial of former Kyrgyz parliament deputy Iskhak Masaliev and former Presidential Administration head Usen Sadykov has begun in Bishkek, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

They are charged with organizing mass disorders in Kyrgyzstan's southern Osh and Jalal-Abad regions on May 12-13 and attempting to illegally seize power. Both pleaded not guilty.

Their lawyer, Kairat Zagibaev, told RFE/RL that the December 10 session focused primarily on procedural issues. Zagibaev said the presiding judge agreed to summon the governors of Osh, Jalal-Abad, and Batken Oblasts to the next session, which will take place on December 17.

On May 12-13, groups allegedly associated with former President Kurmanbek Bakiev briefly occupied government buildings in Jalal-Abad and Osh. Investigators say that Masaliev and Usenov were among the organizers.

The incident was followed by unrest in Jalal-Abad the following week in which at least two people were killed and June's widespread ethnic clashes that claimed more than 400 lives in the south.

Bakiev was ousted in April as a result of large-scale antigovernment protests in Bishkek during which more than 80 people died and hundreds were wounded in clashes between protestors and security forces.

Read in Kyrgyz here