Kyrgyzstan interim chief mulls Bakiyev arrest

By Maria Golovnina

BISHKEK (BestGrowthStock) – Kyrgyzstan’s provisional government is considering arresting the country’s president to put him on trial for the deaths of 81 people in the uprising that ousted his government, the interim leader said on Sunday.

The April 7 uprising forced President Kurmanbek Bakiyev to retreat to his stronghold in the south of the country, creating a stand-off with a self-proclaimed government in the capital Bishkek led by Roza Otunbayeva.

“Bakiyev has to understand that he is stuck in a deadlock,” Otunbayeva told Reuters in an interview. “When he is arrested then … it will be possible to carry out an investigation and question him within the framework of law.”

She added: “What he did calls for a serious trial.”

She said her government could not vouch for Bakiyev’s security against those seeking revenge following the violence.

“To be honest we can hardly restrain those who are ready to rush there (Bakiyev’s stronghold) with rifles,” she said.

“Everyone among those killed has relatives and friends. There are people who want revenge. It’s a very sensitive situation. You must understand that we won’t be able guarantee his security ourselves.”

At least 81 people were killed when troops loyal to Bakiyev shot into crowds of opposition protesters last Wednesday during the uprising that forced him to flee the capital.

She said her team was not in talks with Bakiyev and expected him to voluntarily surrender power to the interim government.

Prosecutors loyal to the new government have already opened a criminal case against two of Bakiyev’s brothers and his son.

Otunbayeva said, however, that her government would not use force against Bakiyev.

“We don’t support using force. The arrest warrant for his relatives and accomplices has already been issued,” she said. “As for him (Bakiyev), the range of our possibilities is also becoming increasingly narrow.”

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(Writing by Maria Golovnina, editing by Robin Paxton and Simon Cameron-Moore)

Kyrgyzstan interim chief mulls Bakiyev arrest