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Kumtor case: Politicians ask to release Omurbek Babanov from custody

State and cultural figures of Kyrgyzstan called the detention of Omurbek Babanov groundless. They requested his release by sending an open letter to the President Sadyr Japarov as the guarantor of the Constitution.

Former prime minister Apas Dzhumagulov, an academician Abdygany Erkebaev, ex-speaker of Parliament Altai Borubaev, people’s poet Anatai Omurkanov, hero of the Kyrgyz Republic, neurosurgeon Mitalip Mamytov, ex-secretary of state of the Kyrgyz Republic Naken Kasiev, professors Rosa Aitmatova, Muratbek Begaliev, Sulaiman Kaiypov, generals Abdygul Chotbaev and Anatoly Skargin, as well as former deputy prime minister Uktomkhan Abdullaeva, believe that the criminal prosecution of Omurbek Babanov is unfounded.

«If Omurbek Babanov had violated the laws in relation to Kumtor, the previous government would have opened a case during his political persecution, shifting the blame on him,» the appeal says.

They also noted that innocent people, like Omurbek Babanov, should not suffer in the struggle for law and order.

«We are asking you to change the measure of restraint for Omurbek Babanov on recognizance not to leave. It is important for the people that the investigation and trials are held openly,» the authors of the appeal ask.

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.