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Kumtor case: Taiyrbek Sarpashev detained

Former First Deputy Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Taiyrbek Sarpashev was detained within a criminal case on Kumtor. Press center of the State Committee for National Security (SCNS) reported.

The pre-trial proceedings established criminal actions by the former First Deputy Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic Taiyrbek Sarpashev in collusion with the country’s top political leadership and representatives of the Canadian Centerra Gold company, aimed at lobbying the interests of this company to the detriment of environmental safety of the glaciers located at Kumtor mine.

«The investigation found out that Taiyrbek Sarpashev, occupying senior positions in the government, in the interests of Centerra, prevented the development and adoption of the draft law on glaciers, ensuring their safety. Moreover, Sarpashev submitted amendments to the Water Code to the Parliament for consideration, allowing Kumtor Gold Company to carry out production on the Lysii and Davydov glaciers located at Kumtor mine that led to their destruction,» the State Committee for National Security said.

The state committee added that Taiyrbek Sarpashev will be notified of suspicion of committing the aforementioned crime in the near future, and the Pervomaisky District Court of Bishkek will consider the issue of choosing a preventive measure for him for the period of investigation.

Earlier, the Pervomaisky District Court of Bishkek released two former deputies — Talant Uzakbaev and Almazbek Baatyrbekov from custody. They entered into a plea bargain.

Offices of Kumtor Gold Company were searched on May 15. It became known later that the investigative measures were carried out within a criminal case opened on the fact of corruption. The head of the State Committee for National Security, Kamchybek Tashiev, said that there have been four criminal cases related to the Kumtor mine.

The SCNS is investigating the criminal cases on Kumtor. The beginning of June was marked by high-profile arrests. Former and current deputies of Parliament Torobai Zulpukarov, Iskhak Pirmatov and Talant Uzakbaev were placed in the SCNS remand prison for two months. The court also ruled to arrest the ex-prime minister Omurbek Babanov and former speaker of Parliament Asylbek Jeenbekov. Their supporters believe these arrests are politically motivated.