Friday 18 August 2017

Ex-leader's son 'organised' mass slaughter of Uzbeks

Richard Orange in Bishkek

Kyrgyzstan is demanding that Britain hands over the son of its deposed president to face charges of organising the mass slaughter of hundreds of ethnic Uzbeks.

Maxim Bakiyev, a wealthy businessman and economics minister in his father's government, was arrested by immigration officials at Farnborough airport in Hampshire after arriving on a private jet from eastern Europe on Sunday.

Officials said the son of Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who was ousted as president in April, employed mercenaries dressed as militia to carry out ethnic attacks on Uzbek neighbourhoods in the southern towns of Osh and Jalalabad during the past week.

Up to 1,000 people have died and at least 275,000 people have fled their homes, triggering a humanitarian crisis and sparking fears of inter-ethnic violence sweeping across Central Asia.

Maxim Bakiyev has been accused of plotting the riots in an attempt to unseat the interim government that took over from his father.

Almazbek Atambayev, the first deputy president, said: "The 'wallet' of these riots is the son of the former president, Maxim Bakiyev, who started financing the riots back in April."

Attackers

A government spokesman confirmed that the attackers had been dressed in uniform. "It's known that members of mercenary organisations were paid to organise this," said the spokesman. "They killed both Kyrgyz and Uzbek, and some of them were dressed in the uniform of the militia."

The Kyrgyz prosecutor general said in a statement: "An official request has been sent through the Kyrgyz foreign ministry to the competent organs (in Britain) over the extradition of Mr Bakiyev for the crimes committed."

A spokesman for the US Human Rights Commissioner, said: "We have strong indications this was not a spontaneous inter-ethnic clash." (©Daily Telegraph, London)

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