Kyrgyzstan: Former President Atambayev’s pretrial detention extended

Kyrgyzstan's former President Almazbek Atambayev (file photo)

BISHKEK (TCA) — Former Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev’s pretrial detention has been prolonged until October 26.

The Birinchi Mai district court in Bishkek on August 20 approved a request by investigators to extend the duration of the detention, which had been initially set until August 26.

The former president also faces a new charge — illegal enrichment, as 120 objects of property of Atambayev and his close relatives have been seized by authorities, the Prosecutor General’s Office said.

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

The move to detain Atambayev was sparked by his refusal to obey three subpoenas summoning him to the Interior Ministry for questioning.

Kyrgyz authorities had initially said that Atambayev faced five counts of criminally abusing his office during his 2011-2017 term.

After the violent standoff, additional charges were filed against Atambayev, including using violence against representatives of the authorities, organizing mass unrest, masterminding a murder attempt, hostage taking, and illegal use of firearms.

The standoff between security forces and his supporters resulted in one death of a top security officer and more than 170 injuries — 79 of them sustained by law enforcement officers.

The violence underscored a power struggle between Atambayev and his handpicked successor, Sooronbai Jeenbekov.

The Prosecutor-General’s Office told RFE/RL on August 16 that Atambayev’s wife, Raisa Atambayeva, was also under investigation, without giving any details.

Atambayeva told reporters that day that the probe against her was launched in connection with the case of the ex-chief of the presidential office’s department for judicial system reform, Manasbek Arabaev, who was charged with corruption in June, RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reported.

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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