Kyrgyzstan: Bill preserves immunity from prosecution for ex-presidents

BISHKEK (TCA) — A bill that initially had been drafted as a way to prosecute former Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev has, instead, preserved the immunity from prosecution of former presidents, RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reported.

Lawmakers in Kyrgyzstan’s parliament passed the bill in its final reading on April 4 by a vote of 111 to 3.

One of the authors of the legislation, Iskhak Masaliev of Onuguu-Progress party, said he opposes the final language of the bill.

Masaliev said original intention of the bill was to remove immunity for former presidents, but the language upon its final reading had been altered in a way that, “on the contrary, increased the immunity.”

The bill in its first reading was approved in December amid calls by some lawmakers and other politicians for an investigation into decisions made by Atambayev while he was in office.

It was later amended with considerable proposals by other lawmakers.

The final version of the bill deprives former heads of state, by consent of the Parliament, of immunity in order to bring them to criminal responsibility for acts they committed while in office. If a former head of state breaks the law after resigning as president, he or she will be held responsible like any other citizen, 24.kg news agency reported.

In addition, the former presidents will be deprived of immunity and other privileges if they remain in politics and claim for public office.

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Times of Central Asia