Kyrgyzstan: Arrest warrant issued for son of former deputy minister who detained Atambayev

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BISHKEK (TCA) — Authorities in Kyrgyzstan on August 29 issued an arrest warrant for a son of former Deputy Interior Minister Kursan Asanov, who personally negotiated former President Almazbek Atambayev’s surrender after a deadly two-day standoff earlier in August, RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reported.

The Prosecutor-General’s office said that 22-year-old Mukhammed-Ali Asanov, whose whereabouts are unknown, is suspected of assisting his father to remove unspecified items from Atambayev’s house that could be key evidence in a case against Atambayev.

According to the statement by the Prosecutor-General’s office, Asanov’s son and his assistant, Damirbek Paizylda Uulu, then passed those items on to Atambayev’s supporters.

The statement came two days after a court in Bishkek placed Asanov under house arrest until October 13 while his alleged abuse of authority during negotiations with Atambayev on August 8 is being investigated.

Asanov was fired from his post on August 13 for what authorities characterized as “betraying the interests of the Kyrgyz police and losing the confidence” of the authorities.

The Prosecutor-General’s office alleged that Asanov and Paizylda Uulu provided Atambayev and his supporters with secret information and unspecified items during clashes on August 7 and August 8 between the former president’s supporters and law enforcement troops in and near Atambayev’s residential compound in the village of Koi-Tash.

The resistance put up by the former president and his supporters resulted in the death of one special forces officer and injuries to more than 170 others, including 79 law enforcement officers. Atambayev eventually surrendered to Asanov-led police forces on August 8.

On August 22, police arrested Asanov’s lawyer, Ikramidin Aitkulov, and charged him with fraud. He was later placed under house arrest until October 21. Aitkulov told RFE/RL that the case against him was launched to put pressure on Asanov.

On August 24, Paizylda Uulu was arrested and a day later was sent to pretrial detention until October 23.

The situation around Atambayev’s arrest has underscored a power struggle between him and his handpicked successor, Sooronbai Jeenbekov.

Sergey Kwan

TCA