Kurmanbek Bakiyev, the president of Kyrgyzstan who has taken refuge in Belarus after being overthrown in an uprising earlier this month, has been charged by the Central Asian country`s interim authorities with organizing mass killings and abusing power.
Azimbek Beknazarov, deputy prime minister in Kyrgyzstan`s interim government, said on Tuesday that the charges were valid grounds for Mr. Bakiyev`s extradition from Belarus, according to Russia`s RIA Novosti news agency.
The official announced that the interim government on Monday had formally removed the ousted president from office and stripped him of his presidential immunity.
The charges stem from a violent crackdown on a crowd of protesters that left more than 80 people dead, which the interim government says was ordered by Mr. Bakiyev.
In an interview with BelaPAN, a legal expert who asked not to be named referred to a 1993 convention that requires CIS countries to surrender crime suspects to each other. However, he added, the Belarusian authorities can turn down a CIS country`s extradition request if it concerns a Belarusian national or a person granted political asylum in Belarus.
Mr. Bakiyev fled Kyrgyzstan on April 16 after the uprising against his five-year rule.
In his annual address to the National Assembly and the Belarusian people last week, Alyaksandr Lukashenka revealed that the deposed president of Kyrgyzstan had been staying in Minsk with his family members since the morning of April 20. "They are currently under the protection of our state and the personal protection of your president," Mr. Lukashenka said.
Mr. Bakiyev met with reporters in Minsk on April 21 to make a statement that he remained the president of Kyrgyzstan and urge the international community not to recognize his country’s interim government that he branded as a gang of impostors.
The Russian foreign minister said last week that Moscow did not recognize Mr. Bakiyev as the true president of his country.