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Supporters of Jailed Kyrgyz Ex-Speaker Rally In Bishkek

Hundreds rallied in support of jailed ex-parliamentary speaker Akmatbek Keldibekov. (file photo)
BISHKEK -- Some 400 supporters of former Kyrgyz parliament speaker Akmatbek Keldibekov have rallied in front of the Prosecutor-General's Office in Bishkek to demand his release.

Kyrgyz Prosecutor-General Aida Salyanova met with protest leaders on March 12 and told them that Keldibekov must stay where he is and cannot even be considered for house arrest.

The protesters vowed to hold another public protest in 10 days.

Keldibekov, who is currently in pretrial detention, was arrested in November and charged with abuse of office and financial misdeeds while running the State Social Fund and Tax Service several years ago.

In December, thousands of Keldibekov's supporters stormed the headquarters of the Osh regional government, demanding his release.

Keldibekov, a member of the opposition Ata-Jurt (Fatherland) party, served as parliament speaker between 2010 and 2011.