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Kyrgyz Journalist Sheds Light On High-Profile Killings

Exiled Kyrgyz journalist Syrgak Abdyldaev
Exiled Kyrgyz journalist Syrgak Abdyldaev
BISHKEK -- A Kyrgyz journalist in exile says former presidential staff chief Medet Sadyrkulov was assassinated in 2009 for wanting to start a media campaign against President Kurmanbek Bakiev and his relatives, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Syrgak Abdyldaev told RFE/RL via phone on September 20 that Sadyrkulov had documents that were "a bomb that could blast the Bakievs' reputation to smithereens within days."

Abdyldaev said Sadyrkulov aproached him in early 2009 and asked him to launch a website to post the information presidential aide had amassed. The website was to be called "21st Century" and would have been based in Kazakhstan.

Sadyrkulov and the head of the Bishkek-based Institute for Strategic Studies and Analysis, Sergei Slepchenko, were going to handle financing and organizational issues, Abdyldaev said.

He added that the information Sadyrkulov had was "really explosive and I realized that I had got involved in a very dangerous game."

On March 3, 2009, unknown assailants attacked Abdyldaev, stabbing him 29 times and nearly killing him.

Ten days later, the charred bodies of Sadyrkulov, Slepchenko, and their driver Kuat Sulaimanov were found in the wreckage of a car near Bishkek.

Officials said they died in a car accident, but their relatives challenged that, saying they had been killed long before the car was on fire.

A new investigation into the incident was begun after Bakiev was ousted in April 2010 and investigators agreed the three men had been killed before the alleged car accident.

Police said last week the murder of Sadyrkulov and Slepchenko was ordered by Bakiev's brother, Janysh Bakiev, whose whereabouts are unknown.

Abdyldaev is living abroad at an undisclosed location.

Read more in Kyrgyz here