Kyrgyz opposition leader arrested

March 9, 2009 16:12

Kyrgyz police have detained an opposition leader in connection with a fatal shooting two years ago. Government critics said Alikbek Jekshenkulov's detention was politically motivated. An Interior Ministry spokesman said Monday that Jekshenkulov was involved in the shooting of a Turkish citizen in late 2007. Police said casings and a bullet found at the scene of the killing were traced back to a handgun owned by Jekshenkulov. Jekshenkulov is a coordinator in the For Justice opposition movement and was foreign minister until Feb. 2007. He has since become a vocal critic of the President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's government. Critics of Bakiyev say the government is seeking to stifle the opposition ahead of a possible early presidential election this year.

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