Kyrgyzstan's former President Almazbek Atambayev meets with reporters at his residence in the village of Koi-Tash near the capital Bishkek on June 26, 2019. /VCG Photo
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Kyrgyzstan ‘s former President Almazbek Atambayev, who was detained in raids on his compound last week.

Kyrgyzstan: was seeking to overthrow the government, Orozbek Opumbayev, the head of the country’s security services said Tuesday.

“His intention was a state coup. I say that officially,” Opumbayev told a news conference in the capital Bishkek.

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Atambayev, 62, was detained in a massive security operation last Thursday after a previous attempt to detain him a day earlier failed amid clashes between his supporters and law enforcement that left one special forces officer dead.

The raids came after Atambayev had ignored three police summonses for questioning in connection with the release of a well-known underworld figure during his presidency.

The former president was accused with organizing mass unrest and murdering the officer who was shot dead during the botched raid, Russia’s Interfax reported.

Almazbek Atambayev
People gather in the village of Koy Tash, where the residence of the former Kyrgyz president Almazbek Atambayev is located, outside capital Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on August 8, 2019. /VCG Photo

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A special commission of the Kyrgyz parliament found that Atambayev could be involved in six crimes during his presidency from December 2011 to November 2017.

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The charges included suspected corruption during the reconstruction of Bishkek’s thermal power station, unlawful taking of land to build his residential house and helping release Chechen criminal Aziz Batukayev.

The Central Asian state, which has seen two revolutions in less than two decades, is caught in a standoff between the former leader and his protege-turned-foe President Sooronbai Jeenbekov.

Jeenbekov and Atambayev were once friends, and the former leader backed the incumbent in the 2017 election, triggering accusations that administrative resources were used to sway the vote.  

That election marked an unprecedented peaceful transfer of power between heads of state in the ex-Soviet Muslim-majority nation of six million people.

The current crisis has drawn in Russia – the country’s Soviet-era master and traditional political patron – where hundreds of thousands of Kyrgyz work as migrant laborers.  

Last month Russian President Vladimir Putin met with both Jeenbekov and Atambayev in Moscow in a bid to defuse the confrontation. 

Source(s): AFP

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