Belarus sees no grounds to extradite Bakiyev

Belarus has found no legal grounds for the extradition of deposed Kyrgyz president Kurmanbek Bakiyev, the Belarusian Prosecutor General said on Wednesday.

"We have found no legal grounds for granting an extradition request for Bakiyev," Grigory Vasilevich said.

Bakiyev took refuge in Belarus after he was ousted as Kyrgyz president in a series of violent protests in the Central Asian republic in early April.

The country's interim government has requested the former president's extradition and accused him of ordering the shooting of civilians during the conflict as well as abuse of power and corruption during his leadership. Bakiyev has denied the claims.

The ousted president has also been accused of instigating recent clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and minority Uzbeks in the south of Kyrgyzstan, Bakiyev's former stronghold. The interim government says the death toll from the unrest could be as high as 2,000.

MINSK, June 23 (RIA Novosti)


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