Ex-Kyrgyz prime ministers hiding in Britain: official

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The top security official in Kyrgyzstan's interim government said Thursday that two former prime ministers who fled the ex-Soviet state amid riots last month are believed to be hiding in Britain.

Igor Chudinov and Daniyar Usenov, both of whom left the Central Asian state following the violent ouster of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, are currently in England, said interim SNB (ex-KGB) chief Keneshbek Dushebayev.

"Ex-premiers Igor Chudinov and Daniyar Usenov are hiding in England," he told reporters at a security briefing in the capital Bishkek.

The announcement came as the provisional government stepped up its pressure against Bakiyev, his family and closest advisors, pressure which Dushebayev said had resulted in more than 20 arrests so far.

On Monday the interim government said it was prepared to pay up to 100,000 dollars for information leading to the arrest of the ex-president and a host of others accused of crimes ranging from corruption to murder.

Bakiyev, who fled the volatile country last month, stands accused by the new authorities of organizing the deaths of more than 80 protestors killed during the unrest.

At least 85 people were killed and thousands injured when anti-government protestors clashed with security forces across the country, as anger over official corruption and nepotism boiled over onto the streets.

Government forces guarding the presidential compound in Bishkek opened fire on a crowd with live ammunition, a decision which the provisional government has said was tantamount to murder.

In a posting on its website on Thursday, global police agency Interpol said it had issued an arrest warrant on corruption charges for Maxim Bakiyev, the son of the former president and one of the country's most wanted men.

Maxim Bakiyev is currently being investigated by the interim government for possible corrupt business practices related to fuel supply contracts he handled for a US airbase here seen as key to coalition operations in Afghanistan.

© 2010 AFP

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