Son of ex-Kyrgyz president claims asylum in Britain: lawyer
The son of Kyrgyzstan's ousted president has applied for asylum in Britain after being "forced into exile in fear for my life," he said via British lawyers on Friday.
Maxim Bakiyev, 32, nicknamed "the Prince" for his penchant for luxury, said he had fled Kyrgyzstan as authorities there were trying to make him a "scapegoat" for all their problems.
They accuse him of instigating the deadly inter-ethnic violence that broke out last week and he also faces criminal charges related to his former position as head of the agency that controls state assets and loans.
Bakiyev arrived in Britain on June 13, weeks after his father, former president Kurmanbek Bakiyev, was ousted in violent protests in April.
"Mr. Bakyiev was screened in accordance with normal procedures for port of entry asylum claims, and then granted temporary admission pending the consideration of his claim," a statement from Carter-Ruck Solicitors said.
In comments released by the law firm, Bakiyev rejected the charges against him, saying they were "bogus".
"I have been forced into exile in fear for my life. The interim government in Kyrgyzstan accuses me of new crimes every day," he said.
"The charges are bogus, to divert attention from their own crimes. They accuse me before there has been any opportunity for an investigation. Clearly they seek to try to make me a scapegoat for the chaos in the country.
"I view events in my homeland with horror and pray for an end to the violence."
Kyrgyzstan is on edge after a week of clashes that interim leader Roza Otunbayeva admitted might have killed nearly 2,000 people. The official death toll now stands at 192.
© 2010 AFP