Kyrgyz opposition leader sentenced to 8 years in prison

BISHKEK

A court in Kyrgyzstan Wednesday sentenced the leader of the opposition Ata-Meken Party Omurbek Tekebayev to eight years in prison on corruption charges.

Tekebayev, who was aiming to become the opposition candidate for the Oct . 15 presidential election, was accused of accepting a $1 million bribe from Russian businessman Leonid Mayevsky. when the former was deputy prime minister in 2010

Another defendant, former Minister of Emergency Situations Duishenkul Chotonov, was also sentenced to eight years prison on the same charges.

Following the verdict, Tekebayev and Chotonov were taken to the State Committee for National Security (GKNB) prison in the capital Bishkek, where they had been detained since February.

The defendants' lawyers denied the charges and said that they would file an appeal within 10 days.

Russian businessman Mayevsky claimed that he had given Tekebayev $1 million to enter the country's telecommunications market and filed a criminal complaint after the latter allegedly did not fulfill his promise and did not return the money.

Tekebayev said he had met Mayevsky but rejected any claims that he asked the businessman for money.

The conviction bars Tekebayev from running for president.

Source: Anadolu Agency