Ex-Kyrgyz President Atambayev accused of plotting violent coup

Ex-Kyrgyz President Atambayev accused of plotting violent coup

The State Commission investigating the events in the village of Koi-Tash near Bishkek said that former Kyrgyz president Almazbek Atambayev was planning a violent coup during the operation to detain him on August 7-8, giving a misleading impression of protests and trying to secure international support.

The commission claims that Atambayev intended to seize power amid mass riots and looting. The parliament of Kyrgyzstan approved the conclusion of the state commission. The state commission investigating the events in the village of Koi-Tash comprised 20 people, including MPs, experts, former security officials, lawyers and civil activists. The State Commission was headed by Deputy Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Jenish Razakov.

This summer, the Kyrgyz security forces stormed ex-president Almazbek Atambayev's house for two days. The reason for the special operation was Atambayev’s refusal to show up for interrogations in the case concerning the illegal release of crime boss Aziz Batukaev. Atambayev dismissed the charges as absurd. Then, up to 2,000 law enforcement officers were deployed to the village of Koy-Tash. According to eyewitnesses, there were special equipment of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, water cannons and ramming machines at the scene. Whereas Atambayev had only a gun. However, on the first day of the assault, the ex-president's supporters managed to take hostage and disarm several fighters of the Alpha special forces. On the second day of the assault, the security forces regrouped and launch rocket-propelled grenades at the house. Atambayev surrendered on the condition that law enforcement officers do not shoot at the people. According to eyewitnesses, Kyrgyz politician and public figure Toktayim Umetaliyeva, security officials were ordered to arrest Atambayevby all means. "Residents of neighboring villages and from the north of the country gathered in Koy-Tash. However, it was difficult to charge through police lines," Umetaliyeva told Vestnik Kavkaza

Nevertheless, the state commission considered that "Atambayev and his supporters, who planned an armed  standoff with security forces and the subsequent coup, are completely responsible for the events of August 7-8." MP Tynchtyk Shainazarov read out the conclusion of the state commission in the parliament yesterday. "The events in the village of Koy-Tash on August 7-8 were resulted by the unlawful actions of ex-president of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev, Atambaev and his supporters misled the society about the illegal deprivation of his ex-president status, formed the negative public opinion about state authorities," the conclusion says. The State Commission recommends that the country's parliament give a political assessment to the five MPs of the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan (the party was founded by Atambayev) for ignoring the country's constitution.

"The State Commission recommends a political assessment of the actions of Atambaev and his supporters, MPs Irina Karamushkina, Asel Koduranova, Muradyl Mademinov, Karamat Orozova, Anvar Artykov for ignoring the Constitution and laws of Kyrgyzstan," Shainazarov said. According to him, the actions of employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Committee for National Security, which were ordered to summon Atambaev, despite the mistakes and miscalculations, were based on the norms of the constitution and the code of criminal procedure of Kyrgyzstan.

The government was recommended to examine the responsibility of the State Committee for National Security officials for shortcomings and omissions in the work to prevent unlawful attempts to overthrow the constitutional order, the responsibility of officials of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the inadequate actions to suppress mass disorder and ensure law and order on August 7-8. The Prosecutor General’s Office was recommended to give a legal assessment of the actions of officials of the State Committee for National Security and the Ministry of Internal Affairs during the detention of Atambaev and all those who assisted in organizing and committing crimes against state power.

91 out of 120 Kyrgyz MPs supported a draft resolution based on the conclusion of a state commission in the Atambayev case. The former head of state is suspected of having committed several serious crimes, including organizing mass unrest and masterminding a murder attempt during the events of August 7-8. He was also charged with corruption and unlawful enrichment. By court decision, properties of the ex-president and members of his family were arrested. Earlier, Almazbek Atambayev repeatedly stated that all the charges against him and his supporters are politically motivated.

Meanwhile, Bishkek's Pervomaisky District Court has initiated legal proceedings against former President Almazbek Atambayev, who is also the main defendant in the case concerning the illegal release of crime boss Aziz Batukaev. The next hearing is scheduled for December 17.

The trial involves ex-Prosecutor General Indira Dzholdubaeva, oncologist Emil Makimbetov and laboratory assistant Irina Tsopova. At the same time, Atambaev refused to participate in the process. The defense insists that it is illegal to hear the case without him. Atambayev refused to attend the previous hearing as well, although he is under arrest now.

According to experts, Atambayev is facing a life sentence. External actors who could influence the situation are staying out of it. "Russia, in the person of its president, has already indicated its position - support for the current president, non-interference in the internal affairs of Kyrgyzstan. China is waiting as usual - as it has already happened, Beijing can temporarily close its border. Support for the legitimate process has already been voiced from Nur-Sultan. Hypothetically for It would be convenient for the United States to create a conflict zone near the Chinese border, in the zone of Russian interests. But since all previous years Kyrgyzstan has been for Americans a kind of showcase of "democratic development in post-Soviet countries" and largely remained a certain foothold in the spread of American influence, the U.S. interest in the destabilization looks doubtful.

"One way or another, the problem is not Russia, China or the U.S., the problem is the inability of the Kyrgyz Republic to live within the framework of a modern legal state. The current conflict can be resolved in any way, but the fundamental reasons - the lack of a consolidated nation and the elite subordinated to the national interests - will persist, having extremely long-term nature," expert on Central Asia and the Middle East Alexander Knyazev told Vestnik Kavkaza.