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Former Kyrgyz Prosecutor's Prison Sentence Upheld

Aida Salyanova appears in court on February 7.
Aida Salyanova appears in court on February 7.

BISHKEK -- The Bishkek city court has upheld a suspended five-year prison sentence against former Prosecutor-General Aida Salyanova, who is now an opposition lawmaker.

Salyanova told journalists after her sentence was upheld on February 7 that she will appeal that decision at the Supreme Court.

In October, the Lenin district court in Bishkek found Salyanova guilty of abusing her office and sentenced her to five years in prison.

But the court postponed her imprisonment until her 2-year-old daughter reaches the age of 14.

The conviction of Salyanova, a legislator from the Ata-Meken (Fatherland) party, came amid political tensions in Kyrgyzstan just five days before the 2017 presidential election.

In addition to the postponed prison sentence, the Lenin district court also ordered the confiscation of Salyanova's property.

Salyanova was accused of illegally prolonging the license of a lawyer with links to then-President Kurmanbek Bakiev's son Maksim shortly before Bakiev's ouster in 2010. She was prosecutor-general at the time.

Salyanova has maintained her innocence, saying the case against her is politically motivated.

Authorities targeted Salyanova in an investigation in March 2017, just days after Ata-Meken leader Omurbek Tekebaev was arrested on what his supporters say were trumped-up charges of bribe-taking.

Tekebaev, who was named as Ata-Meken's presidential candidate shortly after his arrest, was convicted in August and sentenced to eight years in prison.

His supporters say the conviction was aimed at preventing him from running in the election.

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