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Former Kyrgyzstan president forced to attend trial: lawyer


AFP Bishkek
Kyrgyzstan's former president Almazbek Atambayev was forced Friday to attend his corruption trial, his lawyer said, but refused to answer questions.
The 63-year-old former ally of President Sooronbai Jeenbekov was detained in August following clashes at his residence between armed supporters and special forces that led to the death of an officer.
His lawyer Sergei Slesarev told AFP that Atambayev had refused to attend Friday's hearing but was brought to the trial from the detention facility against his will.
His appearance in the courtroom was his first since proceedings began in October.
"He did not physically resist so as not to make the officers' job difficult but made known his intention not to participate at the trial," Slesarev told AFP by telephone.
Atambayev refused to answer even rudimentary questions.
"He observed his right to remain completely silent. We will appeal to the court to allow him not to attend future hearings," Slesarev said.
The next hearing was scheduled for December 6, he noted.
Atambayev has been charged with corruption following the release from jail and flight to Chechnya of one of the ex-Soviet nation's most notorious mob bosses during his presidency in 2013.
The former leader faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
He is also suspected of committing 13 other crimes including organising murder, organising mass disturbances and taking servicemen hostage during the clashes in August, his lawyer has said.
Atambayev has called the judicial and investigative process "a show." Having served as president from 2011-17, he was active in securing Jeenbekov's election victory in 2017.
But the two subsequently fell out, roiling the political elite in an impoverished country with close ties to Russia and China.

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First Published: Nov 29 2019 | 7:35 PM IST

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