Kyrgyzstan’s authorities on Tuesday released former president Almazbek Atambayev, imprisoned since 2020, and allowed him to seek medical treatment abroad.
Accused of facilitating the illegal release of a crime boss, the 66-year-old who ruled the Central Asian republic between 2011 and 2017 had been sentenced to 11 years in prison after a chaotic arrest.
The Supreme Court’s “definitive and non-appealable” decision, seen by AFP, quashed Atambayev’s sentence.
Privately-owned press agency Akipress said he was allowed to seek medical treatment abroad.
Atambayev has “serious health problems. He cannot stand for long periods of time and it hurts to walk,” his lawyer told AFP.
“He has spine problems. He needs an operation abroad as there isn’t the necessary equipment in the republic,” the lawyer added.
On social media, relatives of Atambayev published photos of themselves cooking and “getting ready to welcome him.”
Atambayev oversaw the republic’s first peaceful handover of power between elected presidents but troubles mounted for him after he fell out with the man he hand-picked as his successor, Sooronbay Jeenbekov.
Atambayev was dramatically arrested in August 2019 after two special forces raids on his villa near the capital.
Along with several other prominent politicians, Atambayev was freed in 2020 by supporters protesting the result of a parliamentary election.
Like Atambayev, the current president of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov was released from jail during the 2020 unrest.
But while Japarov rose to power amid the street protests, Atambayev was re-arrested and has remained in jail ever since.
Source : Barons