Kyrgyz ex-president arrested, accused of coup plan: state media
14 Aug 2019

The head of Kyrgyzstan’s security forces on Tuesday accused ex-president Almazbek Atambayev on Tuesday of planning to stage a coup, state news agency Kabar said, following a deadly clash last week with police sent to his house to arrest him.

Atambayev surrendered on Thursday when police raided his home and detained him for questioning over a corruption case, laying bare a power struggle with his successor Sooronbai Jeenbekov that has pushed the Central Asian nation to the brink of political crisis.

Atambayev’s supporters had repulsed a similar raid the previous day in which a deputy commander of a special forces unit was killed.

In an indictment related to the botched raid, prosecutors on Tuesday charged him with murder, hostage-taking and causing mass unrest, Kabar said.

Atambayev has dismissed criminal investigations against him as politically motivated and illegal.

National security chief Orozbek Opumbayev on Tuesday accused the former president of seeking bloodshed.

“Then, blaming it on the authorities, he would have been able to stage a coup,” Kabar quoted Opumbayev as saying.

Opumbayev said Atambayev shot at security officers with his sniper rifle, fatally wounding one of them. Atambayev said last week he had fired off several shots, but most were warning ones directed into the air.

His lawyer Sergei Slesarev declined to comment on Atambayev’s position with regards to the charges. He said Atambayev refused to be questioned.

The authorities have also impounded Atambayev’s assets including the April television station which had helped the former president reach a broad audience.

By Olga Dzyubenko, Reuters, 13 August 2019

Read more at Reuters

Photo: [CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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