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Kyrgyz Minister Back In Office After Being Cleared Of Corruption

Kyrgyz Deputy Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov
Kyrgyz Deputy Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov
BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz Deputy Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov resumed his duties today after he was cleared of involvement in corrupt activities, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Babanov stepped down temporarily a month ago so that a parliamentary commission could investigate allegations against him.

The investigation was launched after former acting Prosecutor-General Kubatbek Baibolov stated that he had evidence proving Babanov's involvement in corrupt financial activity.

Baibolov made his allegations in parliament on April 1, the day after he was sacked by President Roza Otunbaeva.

Parliament Deputy Toktogul Tumanov of the Social Democratic Party told RFE/RL on May 15 that the commission did not find any evidence to substantiate Baibolov's claim.

Babanov was also accused by Erkin Alymbekov, a member of the opposition Ata-Meken (Homeland) parliament faction, of having met secretly with ousted Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev and his son Maksim.

Alymbekov also cited a media report that claimed Babanov's Respublika party, a member of the coalition government, was sponsored by Maksim Bakiev and some of his closest associates.

Baibolov told RFE/RL today that he does not agree with the official results of the probe, saying the investigation was done too quickly and was "superficial."

Baibolov, who also announced he intends to run in the presidential election scheduled for this fall, said there is an ongoing "campaign" against him. He did not say specifically who is behind the campaign, but implied members of the government.

Read more in Kyrgyz here