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    New Kyrgyz government strips Bakiyev's immunity, threatens arrest (WRAPUP 1)

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    Kyrgyzstan's interim government said on Tuesday it had issued a decree removing the immunity of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev and threatened to arrest him if he does not return to Bishkek.

    Kyrgyzstan's interim government said on Tuesday it had issued a decree removing the immunity of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev and threatened to arrest him if he does not return to Bishkek.

    Protests against Bakiyev and his government began last week in Talas and spread to other regions of the country, including Bishkek, leaving some 80 people dead and more than 1,500 injured. The opposition has formed an interim government and named Roza Otunbayeva prime minister

    Deputy Prime Minister Azimbek Beknazarov told journalists on Tuesday that effective immediately, Bakiyev had no immunity from prosecution, enabling the authorities to issue a warrant for his arrest.

    The ousted Bakiyev with dozens security staff has left the city of Jalal-Abad in southwestern Kyrgyzstan where earlier today his supporters held a rally.

    However, the demonstration continued.

    Around 2,000 people took part in the demonstration on the city's central square. Locals said the protesters might storm the administrative building, which is being used by representatives of the interim government.

    Beknazarov said if the demonstrators called for a civil war, the government would have to take measures.

    An aide to Bakiyev said the president was aware of the threat to arrest him.

    "We already knew about this ultimatum. The president will comment on it himself," the aide said, adding that Bakiyev would hold a news conference at 4 p.m. local time (10:00 GMT).

    The opposition has urged the president to resign and leave the country, but Bakiyev has said he will not step down.

    In other developments, Supreme Court head Zhanyl Alieva was dismissed from the post and her first deputy Kubanychbek Mombekov has been appointed as acting chairman.

    "All this time the Constitutional Court has defied the Constitution, backing the interests of the families of [former President Askar] Akayev and Bakiyev," Beznazarov said.

    He said the court would not resume its duties until a new constitution had been adopted.

     

    BISHKEK, April 13 (RIA Novosti)

     

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