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Kumtor case: Supporters of Temir Sariev hold rally near Bishkek City Court

Supporters of ex-prime minister of Kyrgyzstan Temir Sariev hold a rally near the City Court building.

The detained politician has already been taken to the hearing, where the appeal of the lawyers to change the preventive measure is being considered.

About 100 people gathered for the protest. They chant: «Freedom for Sariev!»

Consideration of the appeal of the lawyers was supposed to take place the day before. But the politician was not brought to the courtroom.

Temir Sariev was arrested within the investigation of the criminal case on Kumtor by the State Committee for National Security. He is charged with underestimating the amount of environmental damage at the mine. According to his lawyers, such an accusation is absurd, since, being the head of the state commission for checking the activities of Kumtor, Temir Sariev could not make individual decisions. The commission — a collegial body — included officials, parliamentarians, specialists and environmentalists. The report of the commission was heard in the Parliament.

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 were placed in the SCNS remand prison for two months. The court also ruled to arrest the ex-prime minister Omurbek Babanov, former speaker of Parliament Asylbek Jeenbekov and the first vice prime minister Taiyrbek Sarpashev. The ex-prime minister Temir Sariev was detained on August 3. Their supporters believe these arrests are politically motivated.

Three former deputies Talant Uzakbaev, Almazbek Baatyrbekov and Iskhak Pirmatov were released from custody. They entered into a plea bargain.

The preventive measure was also changed for Omurbek Babanov. He left the country for treatment.