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Suspects Detained In Killing Of Convicted Kyrgyz Opposition Politician's Brother

Aida Salyanova
Aida Salyanova

BISHKEK -- Two suspects in the killing of a brother of former Kyrgyz Prosecutor-General and opposition politician Aida Salyanova have been detained, an Interior Ministry official says.

Deputy Interior Minister Kursan Asanov told reporters on May 18 that one of the unnamed Kyrgyz suspects was caught in Kyrgyzstan and "confessed" his involvement in the murder.

The second was arrested in Russia and his extradition is pending, Asanov said

According to Asanov, a third suspect, a Russian citizen, is still on the loose.

Several masked men shot 42-year-old Ulan Salyanov dead in his home in November, according to the Interior Ministry, which at the time overruled a political motivation for the assassination.

The killing occurred less than a month after a court in Bishkek found Aida Salyanova guilty of abuse of office and sentenced her to five years in prison, but postponed her imprisonment until her 2-year-old daughter reaches age 14.

Salyanova, a leading member of the opposition Ata-Meken (Fatherland) party, has maintained her innocence, insisting that the case against her was politically motivated.

Authorities targeted Salyanova for investigation in March, days after Ata-Meken leader Omurbek Tekebaev was arrested on the basis of what his supporters say were trumped-up bribe-taking allegations.

Tekebaev, who was named as Ata-Meken's candidate in the October 15 election shortly after his arrest, was convicted in August and sentenced to eight years in prison.

His supporters say the conviction was aimed at preventing him from running in the election.

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