Belarus refused to extradite to Kyrgyzstan Zhanysh Bakiyev, a brother of the country’s ex-president wanted on murder charges, a spokesman for the Belarusian Prosecutor General’s office said on Wednesday.
Kyrgyzstan has repeatedly asked Belarus to honor its international legal commitments and extradite a brother of the republic’s ousted president Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who has been put on the Interpol wanted list on charges of triple murder of the former presidential administration chief Medet Sadyrkulov, chief of the International Institute of Strategic Studies Sergei Slepchenko, and driver Kubat Sulaimanov.
In late August, Kyrgyzstan requested the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) to assist in the extradition of Bakiyev within the framework of the CIS Convention on Legal Assistance and Legal Relations in Civil, Family and Criminal Matters.
The spokesman said that Belarus denied extradition in June 2012 on the basis of the CIS legal assistance convention, which bars extradition “when there are solid grounds to believe that the extradition request is related to the persecution of an individual on the basis of his race, gender, religion, ethnicity or political views.”
“Taking into account the events in Kyrgyzstan and the nature of charges laid against Bakiyev, the Belarusian side believes that the extradition request was filed due to persecution for political beliefs and was thus rejected,” the spokesman said.
Kyrgyzstan recalled its ambassador to Belarus after images of Zhanybek Bakiyev and his two assistants made near a restaurant in Minsk appeared on the internet.
Former Kyrgyz president Kurmanbek Bakiyev and many of his relatives and supporters fled into exile after a mass uprising in April 2010 that ousted the president. Opposition forces, brought to power by the revolt, put the two brothers on the international wanted list and the Interpol has issued a red notice for them.