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Ex-Kyrgyz Pres Almazbek Atambayev plotted coup, says security chief

ANI | August 13, 2019 02:13 PM
Former Kyrgyzstan President Almazbek Atambayev (File photo)

Bishkek [Kyrgyzstan], Aug 13 (ANI): Kyrgyzstan's State Committee for National Security on Tuesday said that former President Almazbek Atambayev, who was detained in a raid on his residence last week, had plotted a coup to overthrow the government.

Atambayev was detained in a massive security operation on 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, Al Jazeera reported.

"His intention was a state coup. I say that officially," Orozbek Opumbayev, National Security Services chief told the media here.

Last week's raids came after Atambayev ignored three police summons for questioning in connection with the release of a well-known underworld figure during his presidency.

Atambayev, who served as president from 2011 to 2017, was stripped of his immunity from prosecution in June in the wake of corruption allegations.

The 62-year-old has rejected the charges and accused the current authorities of abuse of office.

The ex-president has been taken into custody until August 26.

Meanwhile, Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov was quoted as saying by TASS news agency that Atambayev had violated the country's constitution by offering armed resistance to law enforcement agencies.

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.

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 labourers.

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

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