Kyrgyzstan: Prosecutors seek lengthy prison terms for former top officials at corruption trial

Defendants in the high-profile corruption trial: (top row, left to right) Aibek Kaliev, Jantoro Satybaldiev, Sapar Isakov, Osmonbek Artykbaev, (bottom row, left to right) Temirlan Brimkulov, Olga Lavrova, Joldoshbek Nazarov, Salaidin Avazov

BISHKEK (TCA) — Prosecutors in the high-profile corruption trial of several former top Kyrgyz officials have asked the court to sentence the defendants to prison terms of between 7 1/2 and 17 years, RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reported.

The prosecutors asked the Sverdlov District Court in Bishkek on November 27 to sentence former prime ministers, Sapar Isakov and Jantoro Satybaldiev, who allegedly are close associates of former President Almazbek Atambayev, to prison terms of 15 years and 11 years, three months, respectively.

Prosecutors added that they are seeking a 17-year sentence for Aibek Kaliev, the former chief of the National Energy Holding, 7 1/2 years for former Finance Minister Olga Lavrova, and 11 years, three months each for former Electric Power Stations Joint-Stock Company General Director Salaidin Avazov and his former subordinates, Joldoshbek Nazarov and Temirlan Brimkulov.

The corruption charges stem from 2013 when the accused were involved in a project to modernize the Bishkek Thermal Power Station.

The defendants are accused of allegedly using their positions to lobby for the interests of a Chinese company in the selection process of a contractor for the modernization of the power plant, inflicting damage on the Kyrgyz state and society.

The Chinese company TBEA was selected as the winner of the tender.

The case was launched after an accident at the Bishkek power station in January last year left thousands of households in the capital without heat for several days.

The probe was launched amid tensions between former President Almazbek Atambayev and incumbent President 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 following his refusal to show up in police headquarters for questioning in an unrelated case.

The prosecutors said that lawmaker Osmonbek Artykbaev should be fined 100 million soms ($1.43 million) for his role in the alleged affair.

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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