Poland releases former Kyrgyz parliament speaker-1

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Polish authorities released a Kyrgyz opposition leader detained earlier on alleged drug-trafficking charges, a member of the Kyrgyz parliament said.
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BISHKEK, September 8 (RIA Novosti) - Polish authorities released a Kyrgyz opposition leader detained earlier on alleged drug-trafficking charges, a member of the Kyrgyz parliament said.

Omurbek Tekebayev was arrested Wednesday after arriving in Poland from Turkey as part of a Kyrgyz parliamentary delegation. Tekebayev, who was traveling on a diplomatic passport, is alleged to have been carrying a Russian wooden matryoshka doll containing heroin in his baggage.

"Polish authorities apologized to him [Tekebayev], saying they were convinced the MP became the victim of political machinations as an opposition leader in Kyrgyzstan," Melis Eshimkanov said.

Supporters of Tekebayev claimed Thursday the authorities had set up the opposition leader, but Kyrgyz Prime Minister Felix Kulov said today he was confident Tekebayev was innocent and was "the victim of somebody's dirty provocation."

A RIA Novosti correspondent earlier reported that a tape taken from surveillance cameras in Bishkek's Manas airport was shown to MPs. The film shows Tekebayev's bag being separated from other luggage and taken away and then returned in 14 minutes.

The head of Kyrgyzstan's National Security Service told journalists Friday the secret services were not involved in the incident.

"We are interested in investigating this incident as soon as possible," Busurmankul Tabaldiyev said.

Tekebayev joined the opposition after resigning as speaker in February 2006 over a conflict with President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, his former ally who swept into power on the back of last March's "tulip revolution."

He has repeatedly accused the incumbent president of failing to deliver on his election promises to fight corruption in the impoverished Central Asian state.

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