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Page last updated at 08:08 GMT, Tuesday, 27 April 2010 09:08 UK

Kyrgyz ex-leader Kurmanbek Bakiyev 'facing charges'

Kurmanbek Bakiyev (11 April 2010)
Bakiyev's administration is accused of ordering troops to shoot protesters

Ousted Kyrgyz leader Kurmanbek Bakiyev has been charged in absentia with organising mass killings, a leader of the interim government says.

Interim legal chief Azimbek Beknazarov said Kyrgyzstan would seek Mr Bakiyev's extradition from Belarus to face trial.

Mr Bakiyev was ousted in violent protests on 7 April in which more than 80 people died.

The interim government says his administration ordered troops to open fire on protesters.

"We will seek extradition of Bakiyev to Bishkek and bringing him to criminal responsibility," Mr Beknazarov said.

"Kyrgyzstan's law enforcement agencies have already been instructed to request their Belarussian counterparts for Bakiyev's extradition."

Minister returned

The violence erupted on a day of opposition-led protests against Mr Bakiyev's administration.

He flew out of Kyrgyzstan several days after the uprising, after failing to rally support in his native south.

He first went to Kazakhstan before flying to Belarus, where leader Alexander Lukashenko said he was welcome.

Mr Beknazarov said that an extradition treaty existed between the two countries, but there has been no indication from Belarus as to whether it will comply with any request.

Outside Belarus, Mr Bakiyev appears to have received little international support.

On Monday Russian security personnel detained his former interior minister in Moscow and returned him to the new Kyrgyz authorities.

Kyrgyzstan is strategically important to both the US and Russia, because both have important military bases in the country.

The new government, led by a former foreign minister, Roza Otunbayeva, says it will hold elections on 10 October, after a constitutional referendum on reducing presidential powers.



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