Kyrgyzstan sentences ex-president, brother in absentia

Updated 12 February 2013
0

Kyrgyzstan sentences ex-president, brother in absentia

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan: A Kyrgyz military court on Tuesday sentenced in absentia former president Kurmanbek Bakiyev to 24 years in prison and his brother Janysh to life over a murder of a powerful top official in 2009.
Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who was toppled in a bloody 2010 uprising fueled by his family’s rampant corruption during a half decade in power, was convicted of abuse of power by the Bishkek military garrison court.
His brother Janysh, the former head of the state bodyguard service under Bakiyev, was convicted of multiple murder.
Both men fled to Belarus after the 2010 revolution and Minsk has so far refused requests from Bishkek’s new rulers to extradite the pair.
The closed-door trial against them specifically related to the 2009 murder of the former head of the presidential administration Medet Sadyrkulov, a powerful political player known as the “grey cardinal.”
Sadyrkulov was killed in March 2009 in what the pro-Bakiyev authorities blamed on a car accident but which the opposition immediately suspected was murder carried out by forces loyal to the president.
The fact that the bodies of Sadyrkulov and his two dead companions were found in the Lexus jeep with severe burns had immediately raised suspicions about whether an accident was the cause of death.
The investigation found that Sadyrkulov had been personally tortured by Janysh Bakiyev which resulted in the breaking of several bones. He was then found burned to death in the jeep on the highway leading from the Kazakh city of Almaty.
A Kyrgyz man named Omurbek Usmonov had been found guilty of causing the car accident but in April 2010 he was found dead on the outskirts of Bishkek.
Sadyrkulov was believed to be returning from Kazakhstan where he had been collecting millions of dollars to fund an uprising against Bakiyev. The cash has never been found.
After Bakiyev was overthrown in April 2010, the case was reopened and several security officers were jailed in 2012 over their roles in the murder.
The former president has also been charged with mass murder over the fatal shooting by police of dozens of people in the 2010 uprising.


Germany’s Merkel calls for solutions to Iran’s “aggressive tendencies”

Updated 40 min 44 sec ago
0

Germany’s Merkel calls for solutions to Iran’s “aggressive tendencies”

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel: Iran’s aggressive tendencies must not only be discussed, but rather we need solutions urgently.
  • Germany remained party to the Iran nuclear deal, which lifted sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbing its atomic program, after US President Donald Trump withdrew from it in May.

AMMAN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday said European countries shared concerns over Iran’s ballistic missile program and called for solutions to its “aggressive tendencies” in the Middle East.
“Iran’s aggressive tendencies must not only be discussed, but rather we need solutions urgently,” she said after meeting Jordan’s King Abdullah in Amman.
Germany remained party to the Iran nuclear deal, which lifted sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbing its atomic program, after US President Donald Trump withdrew from it in May.
Merkel said on Thursday that while European countries wanted to maintain the 2015 accord, they shared concerns over Iran’s ballistic missile program, its presence in Syria and its role in the war in Yemen.
In Syria, Iran is a big military supporter of President Bashar Assad, sending some of its own forces there and backing Shiite militias from Lebanon and Iraq who are fighting on the ground. Gulf and Western countries accuse Tehran of arming the Houthi group in Yemen, which it denies.
Merkel said earlier this month after meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the question of Iran’s regional influence was “worrying, especially for Israel’s security.”
Abdullah, who met Netanyahu on Monday and spoke by phone with Trump’s son-in-law and regional envoy Jared Kushner on Tuesday, said there could be no peace in the Middle East without a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.
The United States is preparing a new peace plan, which has not yet been made public, but has already angered Palestinians by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Abdullah this month appointed a new prime minister after the country’s biggest protests in years over taxes and price increases pushed by the International Monetary Fund.
Merkel said reforms should be balanced and “not hit the wrong people.”