BISHKEK -- A judge in southern Kyrgyzstan has rejected a request by the fugitive leader of the local Uzbek community to stop his trial on the grounds that it is "persecution," RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.
Supreme Court spokesman Baktybek Rysaliev told RFE/RL today that the leader of the Uzbek community in Jalal-Abad, Kadyrjan Batyrov, submitted the request through his lawyer.
Batyrov, a businessman and former Kyrgyz parliament deputy, and five co-defendants are being tried in absentia for "inciting interethnic hatred, and organizing clashes between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz" in Kyrgyzstan's southern regions of Jalal-Abad and Osh in June 2010 in which hundreds of people were killed.
The whereabouts of the six are not known.
The lawyers of two of Batyrov's co-defendants have asked that their case be sent back to investigators for additional investigations.
Rysaliev said Judge Toktosun Jorobekov rejected all three requests on October 11. He said seven victims and five witnesses testified the same day.
In September 2010, Batyrov posted a video on YouTube in which he said he is not guilty of the charges against him.
Read more in Kyrgyz here