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Kyrgyz Activist Sent To House Arrest In Tape Scandal Case

BISHKEK -- A Kyrgyz opposition activist suspected by authorities of being part of a plot to overthrow the government has been placed under house arrest.

The Kyrgyz State Committee for National Security (UKMK) said Dastan Sarygulov had been charged on March 28.

Earlier, the UKMK said that three other suspects in the alleged plot -- Bektur Asanov, Kubanychbek Kadyrov, and Ernest Karybekov -- had been charged with preparing to use force to overthrow the government.

Last week, the three, all opposition politicians, were ordered to be held in pretrial detention for two months.

According to the UKMK, the suspects were arrested after an audio recording circulated on the Internet earliest this month. In that recording, voices are heard discussing ways to seize power in Kyrgyzstan.

Authorities say the three detained opposition figures are among them.

A fourth suspect, Duulatbek Turdunaliev, is being sought.

Asanov told RFE/RL before his arrest last week that the tapes had been edited and their appearance on the Internet was "an attempt to blackmail the opposition."

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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