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Detained Former Kyrgyz Parliament Speaker Sent To Pretrial Detention

Akmatbek Keldibekov (right), then the parliament speaker, consults with then-Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbaeva in November 2011.
BISHKEK -- A court in Bishkek has ordered opposition lawmaker Akmatbek Keldibekov to be held in pretrial detention for two months.

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

He was detained on November 20 amid an investigation into alleged abuse of office and financial misdeeds while running the State Social Fund and Tax Service several years ago.

In a video statement placed on the Internet hours before his detention, Keldibekov called the case against him politically motivated.

Hundreds of people rallied in Bishkek and in the southern region of Osh on November 21-22 demanding Keldibekov's immediate release.

The leader of Ata-Jurt, Kamchybek Tashiev, described Keldibekov's arrest as "political oppression."