Atambaev Ally Detained In Russia, Brought Back To Kyrgyzstan To Face Prosecution

BISHKEK -- A former adviser to ex-President Almazbek Atambaev is being held on suspicion of financial fraud after being detained in Russia and brought back to Kyrgyzstan by law enforcement authorities.

Ikramjan Ilmiyanov is one of several associates of Atambaev, who has been at odds with his handpicked successor, to be arrested or dismissed in recent months and accused of corruption.

Media reports said Ikramjan Ilmiyanov was detained in Russia on October 20 in Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, and the Kyrgyz State Committee for National Security (UKMK) then brought him to Bishkek.

The Birinchi Mai District court in the Kyrgyz capital ruled the same day that Ilmiyanov must be kept in pretrial detention until November 28.

The UKMK had announced on October 19 that Ilmiyanov, who served as an adviser and deputy chief of staff under Atambaev, was placed on a wanted list.

Facing the constitutional limit of a single term, Atambaev stepped down in November 2017 after backing then-Prime Minister Sooronbai Jeenbekov in the Central Asian country's October presidential election.

Following his election as head of the ruling Social Democratic Party on March 31, Atambaev began publicly criticizing Jeenbekov.

Two Atambaev allies who also served as prime minister when he was president, Sapar Isakov and Jantoro Satybaldiev, were arrested in June on corruption charges.

In April, Jeenbekov fired several other Atambaev allies, including Prosecutor-General Indira Joldubaeva and UKMK chief Abdil Segizbaev, who had been criticized for a crackdown on opposition politicians and independent journalists.

Some politicians and lawmakers have called in recent months for an investigation into some of Atambaev's decisions while in office.

In early October, the Supreme Court ruled that the immunity enjoyed by the country's former presidents was unconstitutional.