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Kyrgyzstan: Days Before Election, Opposition Politician Convicted

A court in Kyrgyzstan has handed a prominent opposition figure a deferred five-year jail sentence on corruption charges, raising the political temperature, only days before an increasingly tense presidential election.

Kubanychbek Kasymbekov, a judge at Bishkek’s Lenin district court, on October 10 ruled to find Aida Salyanova, an ex-General Prosecutor and Justice Minister, guilty of abuse of office when she purportedly restored the lawyer’s license of a disgraced associate of former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who was overthrown in April 2010.

The court stipulated that Salyanova will only have to serve her sentence once her two-year old child turns 14.

Kasymbekov read out his ruling over three-quarters of an hour, often tripping over his words. At the end of his address, the few people allowed in the courtroom loudly expressed their anger at the conviction, while Salyanova remained largely impassive.

The criminal charges against Salyanova, who is a sitting member of parliament with the opposition Ata-Meken party, were filed in December at the behest of the State Committee for National Security, or GKNB, the successor agency to the KGB.

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Kyrgyzstan: Days Before Election, Opposition Politician Convicted

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