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Kyrgyzstan Requests Extradition Of Former Minister From Ireland

Former Kyrgyz Energy Minister Saparbek Balkybekov
Former Kyrgyz Energy Minister Saparbek Balkybekov
BISHKEK -- The Kyrgyz prosecutor-general has officially requested that Irish authorities extradite former Energy Minister Saparbek Balkybekov, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Tilek Murzakulov of the Prosecutor-General's Office told RFE/RL that due to the absence of mutual agreements between Ireland and Kyrgyzstan on the extradition of criminal suspects, the request was sent via other diplomatic channels.

On January 26, Kyrgyz officials announced that Balkybekov was detained at the house of one of his relatives in Dublin, based on an Interpol warrant. There's been no confirmation of this from Irish police.

Balkybekov served in the government of former President Kurmanbek Bakiev and, as with many other former officials from Bakiev's government, he is wanted on charges of corruption, financial mismanagement, and theft.

Following Bakiev's ouster after antigovernment protests in April, the interim government that took power issued international arrest warrants for Bakiev, several of his relatives, and a number of former officials.

Read in Kyrgyz