Kyrgyzstan’s former Prime Minister faces corruption charges

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BISHKEK (TCA) — Kyrgyzstan’s State Committee for National Security said that the country’s former Prime Minister Sapar Isakov was officially charged with corruption within the criminal case on the modernization of the Bishkek Thermal Power Station, after he was interrogated for more than six hours on May 29.

The Committee’s press service said that in 2013, being the head of the Foreign Policy Department in the rank of the deputy head of the Presidential Administration of the Kyrgyz Republic in implementing the project “Modernization of Bishkek HPP,” using his political position by organizing pre-planned actions together with a group of persons, Isakov lobbied the interests of a foreign company at competitive selection of the contractor for the project, as a result of which the interests of the state and society were damaged in an especially large amount, 24.kg news agency reports.

Seven former top managers of Kyrgyzstan’s energy sector have already been arrested within this criminal case, including the former head of the Energy Holding Aibek Kaliev and the former general director of Electric Stations JSC Salaidin Avazov. All the seven were officially charged with corruption.

Isakov signed a written undertaking not to leave the city during the investigation.

Isakov has suggested he believes the state may mount a corruption case against former officials over the heating outages, but said former President Almazbek Atambayev and his team had “worked in a clean way, with no corruption whatsoever,” RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reported.

The pressure on Isakov was seen among several examples of an ongoing rift between President Sooronbai Jeenbekov and his predecessor, Atambayev, who backed Jeenbekov in the October 2017 presidential election but has criticized him in recent weeks.

Jeenbekov has fired several Atambayev allies, including Prosecutor-General Indira Joldubaeva and National Security head Abdil Segizbaev.

Sergey Kwan

TCA