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Kyrgyz Politician Testifies That Bakiev Knew About Deadly Shootings

Former Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev is living in Belarus
Former Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev is living in Belarus
BISHKEK -- A Kyrgyz political leader said in court on September 6 that former President Kurmanbek Bakiev was "aware" of the deadly shootings during clashes between protesters and security forces in 2010, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.
Temir Sariev, leader of the Ak-Shumkar (White Falcon) political party, told RFE/RL that during the trial of Bakiev and 27 of his former associates he stated as a witness that Bakiev's people were permanently briefing him about the situation in Bishkek on April 7, 2010, when protesters were shot at by security forces and dozens of them killed.
"I have testified that I was in the Bishkek center that day and saw that the anti-Bakiev protesters did not have any weapons at all," Sariev, who was arrested during the antigovernment protests, told RFE/RL.
He added that the most deadly shootings took place between 7-8 p.m. on that day.
Nearly 90 people were killed and almost 400 injured in the clashes. A dozen of the injured individuals died later of the wounds they sustained in the clashes.
Bakiev and 27 of his former associates -- most of them his close relatives -- are on trial for either having fired upon, or giving the command to open fire on, the unarmed demonstrators.
Most of the defendants are in detention or under house arrest. But Bakiev and several others are being tried in absentia.
The ousted president is living in Belarus at the invitation of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
Sariev, who was a member of the Kyrgyz interim government that came to power after Bakiev's ouster, was among five witnesses who testified at the trial today.
The trial -- which began in November and is being closely followed by many Kyrgyz -- is due to continue on September 7.

Read more in Kyrgyz here

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