Kyrgyzstan: Former Bishkek mayor sentenced to 15 years in prison

Albek Ibraimov (left) and Kubanychbek Kulmatov

BISHKEK (TCA) — A court in Kyrgyzstan has sentenced a former mayor of the country’s capital, Bishkek, to a lengthy prison term as a high-profile corruption trial finished here on December 23.

Bishkek’s Lenin District Court sentenced Albek Ibraimov to 15 years in prison.

Another former mayor of Bishkek, Kubanychbek Kulmatov, was sentenced to a fine of 5 million soms (around US $71,000) and was released in the courtroom.

Prosecutors on December 9 asked 20 years in prison for Ibraimov and 15 years for Kulmatov.

Kulmatov ran the capital city in 2014-16 and Ibraimov in 2016-18. The two were charged along with 11 others for alleged corruption while in office.

Both former officials served as mayors of Bishkek during the tenure of former President Almazbek Atambayev.

Earlier this month, two former Kyrgyz Prime Ministers, Sapar Isakov and Jantoro Satybaldiev, were sentenced to 15 and 7 1/2 years in prison in another high-profile corruption case.

That case was launched amid tensions between Atambayev and current incumbent Sooronbai Jeenbekov, an ex-prime minister who was tapped by Atambayev as his favored successor in Kyrgyzstan’s October 2017 presidential election.

Atambayev was arrested on August 8 after he surrendered to police following two days of violent resistance by supporters. He had refused to show up at police headquarters for questioning in an unrelated case.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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