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International warrant issued for arrest of former Kyrgyz leaders Akayev and Bakiyev

The development of the Kumtor gold mine located in the Issyk-Kul Region of Kyrgyzstan began in the 1990s, backed by Canadian investors
Kurmanbek Bakiyev Valery Sharifulin/TASS
Kurmanbek Bakiyev
© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

BISHKEK, July 8. /TASS/. An international warrant has been issued for the arrest of former Presidents of Kyrgyzstan Askar Akayev and Kurmanbek Bakiyev in the case of the Kumtor gold mine, head of the Kyrgyz State Committee for National Security Kamchybek Tashiyev said during a press conference on Thursday.

"A warrant has been issued for the arrest of former presidents Akayev and Bakiyev," he said, adding that several other high-ranking officials are also suspects in the corruption case related to Kumtor.

The Kumtor gold mine is located in the Issyk-Kul Region of Kyrgyzstan, its development began in the 1990s, backed by Canadian investors. Since then, the Kyrgyz government has revised the conditions of cooperation with its Canadian partners several times. In May 2021, the republic’s leadership essentially suspended Centerra Gold, a Canadian mining company, from managing the mine. The sides expressed their intent to launch court proceedings over this issue.

Akayev headed Kyrgyzstan from 1991 to 2005. He was deposed after a coup, after which he left for Moscow, where he is living to this day. Bakiyev, who headed the country in 2005-2010, was also deposed during a revolution. Later, Bakiyev has been sentenced in absentia to life in prison for committing a number of crimes, including crimes related to corruption. Bakiyev is currently in Belarus. Bishkek requested his extradition several times, however, the requests have gone without a response.