BISHKEK, November 27 (RIA Novosti) – A Kyrgyzstan court on Wednesday sentenced the fugitive brother of the country’s former president to life in absentia for actions that included his alleged role in organizing deadly riots in 2010.
Zhanysh Bakiyev has also been found guilty of stealing around $450,000 from a regional office of the National Bank in March 2005.
The court ruled that Bakiyev had formed illegal armed groups during ethnic unrest in southern Kyrgyzstan between Uzbek and Kyrgyz communities that claimed hundreds of lives.
Bakiyev, who is reported to be in hiding in Belarus, was head of the presidential guard service from March 2005 until his brother, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, was overthrown as leader of the Central Asian nation in April 2010.
The Bakiyev brothers have previously been found guilty of ordering security forces to open fire on crowds of protesters during the rioting that led to their ouster. About 90 people were killed and around 1,000 injured as a result.
In February, a Kyrgyz military court sentenced Kurmanbek Bakiyev to 24 years in prison in absentia for his role in the murder of Medet Sadyrkulov, a former presidential chief of staff that defected from the government’s ranks to join forces with the opposition. Political researcher Sergei Slepchenko and a driver were killed along with Sadyrkulov.
Zhanysh Bakiyev was also sentenced in connection with the killing.
Kurmanbek Bakiyev was granted Belarusian citizenship in 2010. Minsk has steadfastly refused to extradite him, saying the demand from Kyrgyzstan was “politically motivated.”