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Kyrgyz Commission Chief Calls Kingpin's Early Release Illegal

An undated photo of Aziz Batukaev in Naryn prison
BISHKEK -- The head of the Kyrgyz parliament's investigative commission says the early release of organized crime boss Aziz Batukaev last month was illegal.

The commission's chairman, Bolot Sher, told lawmakers on May 29 that a medical diagnosis that said Batukaev had leukemia was fake.

Batukaev, an ethnic Chechen, was sentenced to more than 16 years in jail in 2006 for his involvement in several crimes, including the murders of a Kyrgyz lawmaker along with two of his associates and an Interior Ministry official.

Batukaev was released last month and left for Russia's Chechen republic.

Officials at the penitentiary in the northern city of Naryn, where Batukaev was serving his prison term, had said he was released due to a Naryn city court decision based on the medical conclusion that Batukaev suffered from a serious form of leukemia.