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U.S. Embassy comments on extradition of Askarbek Shadiev

President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov reproached the United States for pursuing a policy of double standards towards those suspected of committing crimes on the territory of Kyrgyzstan in an interview with Azattyk.

The U.S. Embassy Spokesperson Nolen Johnson, answering questions of a journalist from 24.kg news agency, said the United States is committed to working with Kyrgyz law enforcement to investigate and prosecute organized crime figures Kamchybek Kolbaev and Raimbek Matraimov.

«The $5 million reward for Kolbaev and the Magnitsky sanctions against Matraimov and his assets are proof of this commitment. The U.S. FBI, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, and U.S. Treasury Department met with the Prosecutor General’s Office, the GKNB, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on February 9 to discuss cooperation on Kolbaev and Matraimov. We await a response from the Kyrgyz side to continue this cooperation,» he noted.

Nolen Johnson added that the United States does not extradite the former first deputy prime minister Askarbek Shadiev, suspected of economic crimes, because it does not have an extradition treaty with the Kyrgyz Republic.

«Ambassador Lu met with GKNB Chairman Tashiev on March 1 to discuss Shadiev’s case. Ambassador Lu discussed with the Chairman the next steps needed for cooperation in this case. The United States is committed to anti-corruption and rule of law cooperation with the Kyrgyz Republic to include cooperation on individuals and assets in the United States. The return of $4.5 million of corrupt money of Maksim Bakiev in 2019 is proof of that commitment,» Nolen Johnson informed.

Earlier the United States expressed concern about the release of Kamchy Kolbaev from custody.

The Bishkek City Court released the crime boss on his own recognizance not to leave the city on March 2. The State Committee for National Security explained that the measure of restraint was changed for Kamchi Kolbaev because the relatives of the suspect had transferred 49.6 million soms to the deposit account.

Kamchi Kolbaev was detained on October 21. He was handed a notice of suspicion under the Article «Creation of criminal organization or participation in it» of the Criminal Code of the Kyrgyz Republic. By the decision of the Pervomaisky District Court, the crime lord was placed in the remand prison of the State Committee for National Security until the end of the investigation.