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Sister Of Jailed Kyrgyz Politician Detained In Poland On Bishkek's Request

Raikul Japarova
Raikul Japarova

BISHKEK -- A sister of jailed Kyrgyz politician Sadyr Japarov, Raikul Japarova, has been detained in Poland at the request of officials in Bishkek.

The Kyrgyz Interior Ministry's press service told RFE/RL on May 26 that Japarova was detained by Polish authorities four days earlier and her extradition to Kyrgyzstan is under discussion with Warsaw.

According to the ministry, Raikul Japarova was tried in absentia in 2014 and 2015 and found guilty of money laundering, fraud, and abuse of office.

She was then sentenced to 10 years in prison by two courts in Bishkek, while still out of the country.

Charges against Japarova stem from her association with Maksim Bakiev, a son of the former Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev, who was toppled by deadly antigovernment protests in 2010. He currently resides in Belarus.

Both Kurmanbek Bakiev and his son Maksim have been sentenced to life in prison in absentia on a number of charges and are wanted in Bishkek.

Former lawmaker Sadyr Japarov was sentenced in August 2017 to 11 1/2 years in prison after a court in Bishkek convicted him of taking a government official hostage during 2013 protests around the Kumtor Gold Mine. Demonstrators were demanding the mine be nationalized.

Japarov has rejected the charges, saying they were politically motivated.

In April 2019, the Supreme Court cut Japarov's sentence by 18 months.