Interim Kyrgyz regime says it will not arrest Bakiyev

Last Updated: Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 17:41

Moscow: Softening its stand, Kyrgyzstan`s
new interim government Thursday said it will not arrest deposed
President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who has taken refuge in the south
of the central Asian country following last week`s bloody
riots, even as the beleaguered leader spoke to Russian Premier
Vladimir Putin in an apparent bid to strike a compromise.

"He enjoys personal immunity and has freedom to travel
in the country. In accordance with the law we don`t have the
right to detain or arrest him," chief of the Interim Prime
Minister`s Secretariat Edil Baisalov was quoted as saying by
Interfax.

Interim Prime Minister Roza Otunbayeva, who has been
backed by Russia, had earlier insisted that Bakiyev be "put on
trial in the court" for the bloodshed during the recent
protests against his regime, rejecting his offer to step down
in exchange for security guarantee for him and his close
relatives.

One of the vice premiers too had announced that
Bakiyev has been stripped of his immunity and a special
commando group was ready to arrest him.

The U-turn by the interim government is said to be the
result of back channel diplomacy by Russia, US and
international organisations.

Last night, Bakiyev had called up Russian prime
minister Vladimir Putin, the first time the leaders spoke
after the ouster of the Kyrgyz leader. Although no details of
their telephonic conversation were released, but it is
believed that Putin could have given him some assurances.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had come down
heavily on Bakiyev government, blaming it for the unrest and
said the risk of a civil war in the Central Asian country is
high.

US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake also had
talks yesterday in Bishkek with Otunbayeva and urged her to
restore law and order in the country.

Kyrgyzstan, a predominantly Muslim country hosts a key
American airbase which a key transit point for US troops going
to Afghanistan.

Earlier today, Bakiyev, who has taken refuge in his
native village Tyeit in Jalal-Abad region after fleeing
capital Bishkek on April 7, had had to make a hasty retreat
after his opponents clashed with his supporters at a rally in
the main southern city of Osh.

According to Central Asian News Channel `K+`,
Bakiyev`s bodyguards had to fire shots in the air and he
hurriedly left for his home-town Jalal-Abad 100 km from Osh.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 17:41

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