Kyrgyzstan: Former President Atambayev charged with killing security officer

Kyrgyzstan's former President Almazbek Atambayev (file photo)

BISHKEK (TCA) — Kyrgyzstan’s former President Almazbek Atambayev has been charged with killing a security officer during a two-day standoff between security forces and supporters of the former head of state in August, RFE/RL reports.

Interior Minister Kashkar Junushaliev said on December 13 that Atambayev had been formally informed that he is suspected of lethally shooting Colonel Usenbek Niyazbekov, a father of six, during the raid on Atambayev’s compound in the village of Koi-Tash near Bishkek on August 7.

According to Junushaliev, ballistic tests revealed that Niyazbekov was shot in the chest by a sniper rifle registered to Atambayev.

Atambayev himself told journalists on August 8 that he was the only one in the compound who had guns and that he was the only one who shot firearms during clashes between riot police and Atambayev’s supporters.

Security officials were sent to Atambayev’s compound after he refused to obey three subpoenas calling him to the Interior Ministry for questioning in an investigation over his alleged involvement in the illegal release of a jailed organized-crime boss in 2013.

Atambayev was arrested on August 8 after he surrendered to police following a violent two-day resistance.

He was charged with using violence against representatives of the state, organizing mass unrest, masterminding a murder attempt, hostage taking, and corruption.

The resistance by the former president and his supporters resulted in the death of the 47-year-old Niyazbekov and injuries to more than 170 others, including 79 law enforcement officers.

In other news, ex-deputy of the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan Ravshan Jeenbekov was detained in Bishkek late on December 12, news agency reported with reference to the press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The ministry said that the former parliament deputy is suspected of taking hostages as well as organizing mass riots in Koi-Tash village during the detention of former President Atambayev in August.

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.

View more articles fromTCA