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Kyrgyz parliament votes to lift ex-president Atambayev’s immunity

A total of 106 out of 120 lawmakers supported the decision
Almazbek Atambayev EPA/IGOR KOVALENKO
Almazbek Atambayev

BISHKEK, June 27. /TASS/. Lawmakers of Kyrgyzstan’s parliament voted on Thursday in favor of stripping former president Almazbek Atambayev of his immunity, the parliament’s press service told TASS.

"The necessary number of MPs voted in favor of lifting ex-president’s immunity, after adopting this decision Atambayev may be prosecuted," a spokesman said.

A total of 106 out of 120 lawmakers supported the decision.

Atambayev, 62, served as Kyrgyzstan’s president in 2011-2017 and was the country’s first leader to leave office after his first term expired. The first and second presidents of the Central Asian republic, Askar Akayev and Kurmanbek Bakiyev, were toppled after revolutions.

Earlier, representatives of Kyrgyz law enforcement agencies said several criminal cases had been launched against the former president, which they could not investigate due to his immunity. After Thursday’s decision, the investigators will be able to start investigating these cases and even demand restrictions on his freedom.

According to the parliament’s commission on lifting the ex-president’s immunity, five charges have been pressed against Atambayev. The former president is suspected of corruption during the reconstruction of Bishkek’s thermal power station and illegal supplies of coal for it, the unlawful allocation of land and helping release crime lord Aziz Batukayev as well as obtaining a plot of land for building a residential house.

The former Kyrgyz president earlier said he was not planning to attend the questioning, dismissing the investigation as political prosecution against him initiated by the current authorities.