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Kyrgyz Prosecutor OKs Stripping Ex-President Atambaev Of Immunity

Updated

Ex-President Almazbek Atambaev will lose his immunity from prosecution.

BISHKEK -- The Kyrgyz Prosecutor-General's Office has approved a move by parliament to strip former President Almazbek Atambaev of his immunity from prosecution.

Prosecutor-General Otkurbek Jamshitov said on June 25 that his office had found grounds to charge on five counts of misconduct and abuse of power of the six filed against Atambaev by lawmakers last week.

The approval by the prosecutor-general allows parliament to strip Atambaev of the status of ex-president, meaning he will lose his immunity from prosecution.

Nurbek Kasymbekov, a representative for the former president, criticized the move as a “hasty decision” and accused the prosecutors of having failed to explain “what grounds they have found” to bring charges against Atambaev.

“The Prosecutor-General’s Office received [the parliament’s resolution] on Friday and on Monday the office already sent its conclusion to the [legislature],” Kasymbekov told RFE/RL on June 25.

“It had been said that the Prosecutor General’s Office would study it for about a month,” he said. “Have they managed to study everything over the weekend?”

On June 20, Kyrgyz lawmakers approved a resolution stripping Atambaev of the immunity all former presidents receive under the country's laws. The move came amid allegations that Atambaev abused his powers while in office.

Atambaev, who was limited to a single six-year presidential term by the constitution, vocally backed his successor, Sooronbai Jeenbekov, in an October 2017 presidential election.

But the two have traded accusations of incompetence and a lack of professionalism in recent months.

Several of Atambaev's close allies were arrested on corruption charges just months after Jeenbekov's inauguration in November 2017.

Earlier this month, Kyrgyz authorities arrested Manasbek Arabaev, the ex-chief of the presidential office's department for judicial reform, on corruption charges.

Sapar Isakov and Jantoro Satybaldiev, both of whom served as prime minister under Atambaev, have also been charged with corruption.

Last year, Kyrgyz officials arrested Adamkul Junusov, the former customs chief, and Ikramjan Ilmiyanov, a former adviser, on similar charges.

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