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Jailed Kyrgyz Ex-President's Brother Vanishes

Akmat Bakiev
BISHKEK -- A brother of former Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev has disappeared, in what could be an apparent escape from prison.

A Kyrgyz State Penitentiary Service spokesman told RFE/RL that Akmat Bakiev disappeared on March 3 from a hospital where he was taken to be treated for pneumonia.

He was jailed for 7 1/2 years in August after being convicted in connection with organizing mass unrest and violent attacks on security officials in May and June 2010, after his brother was ousted as president amid public unrest.

He was also convicted on charges of involvement in the deadly ethnic clashes in the southern region of Osh in summer 2010.

Ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiev is currently living in Belarus.

He is being tried in absentia in Kyrgyzstan on charges of ordering forces to fire on protesters in April 2010.

Nearly 100 protesters were shot dead.