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High-Profile Trial Of Uzbek Leader In Kyrgyzstan Ends

Kadyrjan Batyrov
Kadyrjan Batyrov
JALAL-ABAD, Kyrgyzstan -- The trial of a leader of the Uzbek community in Kyrgyzstan's southern region of Jalal-Abad and his co-defendants has ended, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Sakhira Nazarova of the Advocacy Center Information Service, a Bishkek-based NGO that monitors the judicial system, told RFE/RL today that the prosecutor and the defendants' lawyers ended their cases and the trial was adjourned so the judge could consider a verdict.

Kadyrjan Batyrov, the fugitive community leader, and five other ethnic Uzbeks were charged with separatist propaganda, inciting interethnic hatred, and organizing clashes between local Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in the southern Jalal-Abad and Osh regions in June 2010.

In September 2010, Batyrov posted a video on YouTube in which he said he is not guilty of the charges against him.

All six accused are being tried in absentia in Jalal-Abad. Their whereabouts are unknown.

The prosecutor asked the judge to sentence Batyrov and one of his co-defendants, Inom Abdurasulov, to life in prison, and the other four defendants to 20 years in jail.

Batyrov, a businessman and former Kyrgyz parliament deputy, is the founder of the Peoples' Friendship University in Jalal-Abad, which was badly damaged during last year's unrest.

At least 447 people were killed in the clashes and thousands more injured and/or displaced. A few dozen are still missing.

Read more in Russian here