BISHKEK -- The Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan has canceled an 18-year prison sentence handed to former Prime Minister Sapar Isakov after he was convicted on corruption charges.
The court said on December 7 that it had sent the case for retrial to Bishkek's Birinchi Mai District Court. The reasons for the decision were not given.
In June, the Birinchi Mai District Court found Isakov guilty of misusing state funds allocated for the renovation of Bishkek’s National History Museum and a hippodrome in the northern town of Cholpon-Ata while in office.
That ruling came while Isakov was already serving a 15-year prison term on corruption charges stemming from his involvement in a 2013 project to modernize the Bishkek Thermal Power Station.
The court sentenced Isakov to 12 years in prison, but the judge said that "altogether, taking into account his earlier conviction and prison sentence of 15 years, Isakov shall be sentenced to 18 years in a high-security penitentiary."
He also ordered Isakov to pay about $3.3 million in fines.
The sentence was upheld by the Bishkek city court in August.
Isakov, 43, who served as prime minister from August 2017 to April 2018, has denied all charges against him, calling them politically motivated.
Isakov was temporarily released from a penal colony near Bishkek on October 6 amid antigovernment protests against the official results of parliamentary elections that ousted the government and led to resignation of President Sooronbai Jeenbekov.
Isakov was ordered to return to custody on October 12, which he never did. His current whereabouts are unknown.