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Kyrgyzstan says toppled president's son arrested in London

13 october 2012, 16:24
0
Maksim Bakiyev. Tengrinews.kz stock photo
Maksim Bakiyev. Tengrinews.kz stock photo
Ousted Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev. ©REUTERS
Ousted Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev. ©REUTERS
The son of Kyrgyzstan's ousted president has been arrested in London and could be extradited to the United States, AFP reports citing the Kyrgyz presidency said late Friday.

The son of ex-president Kurmanbek Bakiyev had applied for asylum in Britain after the new authorities accused him of embezzlement and abuse of power following the ouster of his father in 2010 in violent street protests.

"At the request of Kyrgyz and American sides, British law enforcement authorities arrested Maxim Kurmanbekovich Bakiyev on the morning of October 12 in London on charges of serious crimes," said a statement posted on the president's website.

The statement said that "at present, the British side is examining the possibility of extraditing Maxim Bakiyev to the USA" as there is no extradition treaty between Britain and Kyrgyzstan, the statement said.

It did not specify the charges on which Bakiyev was arrested, saying only that under US legislation he could face "a long prison sentence" if convicted.

No comment was immediately available from British or US authorities.

Nicknamed "the Prince" for his penchant for luxury, the president's younger son Maxim Bakiyev, 34, headed the Central Asian country's Central Agency for Development under his father's regime.

He also handled fuel supply contracts for a US airbase in Kyrgyzstan that is key for its military operations in Afghanistan.

His Interpol listing says that he is wanted for fraud by a Bishkek city district court.

He arrived in Britain in June 2010 and applied for asylum, saying that he had been forced into exile on fear of his life.

His father Kurmanbek Bakiyev, fled the politically volatile ex-Soviet state after the popular uprising and is now living under official protection in Belarus. Kyrgyzstan is seeking him on charges of mass murder of protesters.

Around 90 people died and around 1,000 were wounded in clashes between police and opposition supporters that led to the government stepping down, Bakiyev fleeing the country and an opposition coalition taking power.

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