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Former Kyrgyz President's Trial In Absentia Resumes

The trial against ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiev and 27 others began in November 2010.
BISHKEK -- The trial of former Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev has resumed in a military court in Bishkek, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Bakiev and 27 of his former associates are being tried over the deaths of nearly 90 people during the popular uprising that swept him from power in April 2010.

The defendants are accused of either having fired upon or giving the command to open fire on unarmed demonstrators in Bishkek during antigovernment protests outside the presidential office building.

Many of the defendants are jailed or under house arrest, except for Bakiev and several others -- most of them his close relatives -- who are being tried in absentia.

Bakiev is currently living in Belarus at the invitation of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

Fourteen people who were injured in the clashes with police and security forces testified in court today. The trial will continue on July 28.

The trial began in November, but was adjourned several times following rowdy scenes in which some relatives of those killed threatened the defendants, their lawyers, and family members, with some scuffles even breaking out in the courtroom.

Read more in Kyrgyz here