Officials and lots of citizens in Kyrgyzstan are reeling from news that the Central Asian nation’s most hated son will continue living a free and comfortable life abroad.
A federal court in New York last week suddenly dropped an extradition case against Maxim Bakiyev, son of Kyrgyzstan’s former president, days before a scheduled May 13 hearing in London. The United States had requested the 35-year-old Bakiyev’s extradition to face charges of securities fraud. He has been living in London since shortly after his father, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, was violently overthrown in April 2010.
In March, a Bishkek court found the younger Bakiyev – who ran a development agency for his father’s administration and was widely known as the “prince” for parlaying his father’s influence into lucrative and opaque business deals – guilty in absentia on corruption-related charges, including embezzlement of over $100 million in state funds. He received a 25-year prison sentence.
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Asel Kalybekova is a freelance reporter based in Kyrgyzstan.