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Court in Kyrgyzstan hands ex-president 11-year prison term

UPDATED: Tue., June 23, 2020

Associated Press

MOSCOW — A court in Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday convicted the country’s ex-president on corruption charges and sentenced him to 11 years and two months in prison.

Almazbek Atambayev, who was in office from 2011 to 2017, was stripped of the immunity from prosecution that he enjoyed as a former president and arrested last year on a slew of charges, including corruption and the expropriation of property.

His arrest sparked two days of riots that left one policeman dead and over 100 people injured, raising fears of instability in the strategically placed Central Asian nation that borders China and hosts a Russian military air base.

Atambayev, 63, said the accusations against him were politically motivated.

On Tuesday, the former Kyrgyz president was found guilty of facilitating corruption. In addition to a prison term, the court confiscated Atambayev’s property — several plots of land, five cars, four companies belonging to him and shares in several Kyrgyz banks.

Atambayev’s defense lawyer, Sergei Slesarev, said he will discuss appealing the ruling with his client.

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