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Former Kyrgyz PM Faces Corruption Investigation

Akylbek Japarov (left) and Igor Chudinov are now lawmakers in the ruling coalition.

BISHKEK -- The Prosecutor-General's Office in Kyrgyzstan says that former Prime Minister Igor Chudinov is under investigation in a corruption probe.

In a separate statement, the State Committee for National Security (UKMK) said that Chudinov, former Economy and Trade Minister Akylbek Japarov, and several other people were suspected of mishandling $2.9 million in state funds allocated for agricultural projects in 2009.

Chudinov and Japarov are currently lawmakers representing the Bir Bol (Be United) party, which is part of the ruling coalition.

Chudinov was prime minister in the Central Asian country in 2007-09, under President Kurmanbek Bakiev, who was pushed from power by protests in 2010 and fled to Belarus.

Japarov was economy and trade minister in that period, and served as first deputy prime minister in 2009-10.

Lawmakers from two other parties in the ruling coalition are also facing corruption investigations, while opposition Ata-Meken (Fatherland) party chief Omurbek Tekebaev and other officials in his party have been charged with corruption in recent months.

Kyrgyzstan is holding a presidential election in October.