DUSHANBE/BISHKEK -- At least three men who allegedly belong to a Kyrgyz criminal group have been detained in Tajikistan as suspects in the killing of a former Kyrgyz official, RFE/RL's Tajik and Kyrgyz services report.
Tajik Interior Ministry spokesman Mahmadullo Asadulloev told RFE/RL on September 16 that three men were detained in the basement of a building in Dushanbe's Sino district in a joint operation by Tajik and Kyrgyz police on September 14.
The three Kyrgyz nationals --- Kadyrbek Dosonov, Chyngyz Jumagulov, and Mirlan Shakuliev -- are alleged to have been involved in the killing of former presidential chief of staff Medet Sadyrkulov in 2009.
In Bishkek, Kyrgyz Deputy Interior Minister Melis Turganbaev said on September 16 that Kyrgyz authorities also intend to seek the extradition of former President Kurmanbek Bakiev from Belarus for his alleged involvement in the murder.
Sadyrkulov, who served as presidential administration head under Bakiev, and two of his associates were found dead in a burned-out car in March 2009, shortly after Sadyrkulov resigned to join the anti-Bakiev opposition.
At the time, officials said the deaths were the result of a traffic accident. But Sadyrkulov's relatives challenged that finding, saying the bodies were in positions indicating that the victims were already dead when the car caught fire.
The investigation into Sadyrkulov's death resumed in April 2010 after Bakiev fled the country in the wake of antigovernment demonstrations.
On September 16, Turganbaev also gave the number of people arrested in Dushanbe as four, naming two of them.
Turganbaev said that Dosonov may be a close associate of Almambet Anapiyaev, the notorious leader of a Kyrgyz criminal group. He identified a fourth man as Sheraly Atanov, and said he might have been involved in another high-profile case, the murder of former Kyrgyz parliament deputy Bayaman Erkinbaev in September 2009.
There was no information on the possible extradition of the men from Tajikistan to Kyrgyzstan.
On September 14, Kyrgyz Interior Minister Zarylbek Rysaliev said 17 individuals have been detained in Kyrgyzstan as suspects in Sadyrkulov's killing.
On September 15, Turganbaev told RFE/RL that opposition United Kyrgyzstan party leader Adakhan Madumarov, former Prosecutor-General Elmurza Satybaldiev, and ex-Interior Minister Moldomusa Kongantiev will be interrogated in connection with Sadyrkulov's killing.
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