The Belarusian authorities has once again rejected Kyrgyzstan’s request for the extradition of former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.
"After the referendum and the legitimization of the government, we sent a new request to Minsk [in July] and the answer was the same as before," Kyrgyz Prosecutor General Baitemir Ibrayev said at a government conference on August 27, in which President Roza Otunbayeva took part.
The Prosecutor General’s Office plans to keep demanding extradition and is considering other ways of bringing Kurmanbek Bakiyev to justice, Mr. Ibrayev said, according to Russia’s news agency RIA Novosti. Mr. Bakiyev has been staying in Belarus since April 19. He fled Kyrgyzstan after being overthrown amid violent clashes between government troops and demonstrators in early April.
The Kyrgyz authorities want the former president to stand trial for allegedly sanctioning gunfire on a crowd of protesters that left more than 80 people dead.
On May 21, Minsk received the first formal request for his extradition and an 18-page attachment from Bishkek. The request was turned down in June.
In an interview with Reuters in early May, Alyaksandr Lukashenka made it clear that he would reject an extradition request for Mr. Bakiyev. "Such a request would be hopeless and humiliating for the interim government [in Kyrgyzstan]," he said. "The president of Kyrgyzstan is under the protection of the Belarusian state and its president."
While speaking at a news conference on June 23, Prosecutor General Ryhor Vasilevich refused to speak about the reasons for Belarus` decision to reject the extradition request.
"We have found no legal grounds to grant the request," he said in a terse reply.
According to Kyrgyz sources, the Prosecutor General`s Office of Belarus referred to Subparagraph E of Paragraph Eight of the 2002 Chisinau Convention on Legal Assistance and Legal Relations in Civil, Family and Criminal Matters, under which, an extradition request may be rejected if there are grounds to believe that the requested person may be subjected to persecution for racial, religious or political reasons.