Bakiyev given 24-year jail term

A COURT in Kyrgyzstan has sentenced fugitive former president Kurmanbek Bakiyev to 24 years in prison for abuse of office, and handed a life term to his brother for murder and other crimes.

The verdicts announced yesterday give the authorities legal grounds to demand Bakiyev’s extradition from Belarus.

He was granted political asylum by Minsk after crowds seized his government headquarters in an April 2010 revolt in which about 90 people died when security forces opened fire on opposition protesters.

Belarus has repeatedly rejected demands to extradite Bakiyev.