Bakiyev's son held in Britain: Kyrgyz officials

14th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

The son of toppled Kyrgyzstan president Kurmanbek Bakiyev has been arrested in Britain on an Interpol warrant, Kyrgyz officials said Monday.

Maxim Bakiyev was held in a "secret operation" on his arrival at Farnborough airport in southern England, Keneshbek Duyichebayev, the chief of Kyrgyzstan's national security council, told local television.

In London, a spokesman for the Home Office declined to comment, saying: "For data protection reasons we cannot comment."

A duty officer for Hampshire police force, which covers Farnborough, said the case was being dealt with by the UK Border Agency, which is part of the Home Office.

In Bishkek, Duyichebayev said Maxim Bakiyev wanted to seek asylum in Britain and had flown there in a private aircraft.

He would be "either extradited or judged" in Britain, added Azimbek Beknazarov, an official from Kyrgyzstan's interim government.

Maxim Bakiyev is being investigated by the interim Kyrgyz government for possible corrupt business practices related to fuel supply contracts he handled for a US airbase there, a key site for military operations in Afghanistan.

Kurmanbek Bakiyev was toppled as president in April in violent protests that left nearly 90 people dead. He and his family fled the volatile Central Asian country.

Fresh ethnic violence in southern Kyrgyzstan in the past four days has left more than 124 people dead and sent tens of thousands of refugees into neighbouring Uzbekistan.

© 2010 AFP

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