"Bakiyevs' status changed - they have been recognized criminals by court"

Euroradio: Why the official Bishkek is trying so hard to achieve the extradition of former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev and his brother Janysh, who escaped from the country and are staying in Belarus now?

Kanybek Imanaliyev: There is such a thing as justice. According to the decision of Bishkek garrison military court dated February 14, they were found guilty of serious crimes: kidnapping and torture and murder of three people, with special cruelty. Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who is in Belarus, was sentenced to 24 years of imprisonment with confiscation of property. The younger brother, the then chief of the Presidential Security Janybek Bakiev, was sentenced to life-time imprisonment with confiscation of property. According to our information he is also in Belarus. In connection with that, our Foreign Affairs Committee has approved the appeal to the Interparliamentary Assembly of the CIS Member States to extradite the criminals - and they were considered criminals by Kyrgyz justice. Today the whole Parliament will vote on this appeal. Our country has always complied with its international obligations. I think members of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE, EurAsEC, CIS and the CSTO will do the same.

 Kanybek Imanaliyev, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Kyrgyz Parliament

Euroradio: What specific actions against the official Minsk do you expect from the members of the Interparliamentary Assembly, the countries of the Minsk Convention?

Kanybek Imanaliyev: We, the members of the Minsk Convention, are subjects of the international law. And there are generally recognized rules of the international law and the fundamental principles of democracy and human rights, including the inevitability of punishment under the court verdicts. And we will call upon our colleagues, including Parliamentarians of the CIS member states and members of the Parliament of Belarus that they contribute to the arrest and extradition of convicted criminals - Kurmanbek Bakiyev and Janybek Bakiyev.

Janybek Bakiyev

Euroradio: Does the fact that, at least, Kurmanbek Bakiyev received Belarusian citizenship stand in your way?

Kanybek Imanaliyev: Our law enforcement agencies - general prosecutors of both Kyrgyzstan and Belarus – should work in this field. I suppose there is the legal framework and the rules under which they can be extradited. This will have a positive impact on the image of Belarus.

Euroradio: However, the prosecutions of our countries failed to find understanding on the issue of the Bakiyevs extradition before – do you think that this time it might be different?

Kanybek Imanaliyev: They have a different status now. Previously, the Belarusian side claimed that they were being persecuted allegedly for political reasons. And now the court officially recognized them as criminals who organized and participated in the killings of government officials. For example, Medet Sadyrkulov, the former head of the Presidential Administration of Kyrgyzstan - was killed with special cruelty. People such as Bakiyev must be punished before the law, and God.

           Kurmanbek Bakiyev

Euroradio: Did you think what to do next if this appeal does not give a positive result?

Kanybek Imanaliyev: We still hope for a positive solution. Belarus is a civilized state, which develops on the basis of the Constitution and the rule of law, on the basis of international legal relations. We hope that common sense will win, and they will respect the decision of Justice of the Kyrgyz side.

Euroradio: What about confiscation of the Bakiyevs’ property - I do not think they have gone out of the country with empty pockets. Do you hope to return to the country the property they took away?

Kanybek Imanaliyev: What's left in Kyrgyzstan will be confiscated. And that was taken away ... Still, there is justice. A criminal case has been started against Kurmanbek Bakiyev's son Maxim by the British justice, other countries, according to our information, are working in this direction. And then this is under the authorizations of our law enforcement agencies. They should work together with the states where there is the property of the Bakiyev family, formally established, to prepare the relevant documents.

Euroradio: If Bakiyev tries to leave Belarus - will he have problems with the law enforcement agencies of other countries?

Kanybek Imanaliyev: Our law enforcement agencies are working by the Interpol line as well. So it’s a question of time. They will, I hope, be arrested and brought to the Kyrgyz court.

Photo: Zmicier Lukashuk, www.kenesh.kg, www.itar-tass.com