BISHKEK. Kyrgyz Military court today continued hearing against seven officials accused in connection with the Aksy events on March 17-18, 2002, when police shot dead five participants of a peaceful protest gathering. The hearing is taking place in the town of Maily-Suu. In the first half of today's hearing the accused policemen Daniyar Kuluev, Abdimital Kalbayev and Alik Rakishev testified before the court. According to Kalbayev, the police had acted in accordance with the law and nobody gave the police order to shoot the protesters, some of them were threatening the policemen on the site.
Yesterday a representative of the Prosecutor General said that the former prosecutor of the Jalal-Abad region, Zootbek Kudaibergenov, and the former head of the regional police, Kubanychbek Tokobayev, are being accused under clause 305 of the Criminal Code, the former Aksy district prosecutor, Abdykalyk Kaldarov, - under clauses 148 and 305, the other accused people (D. Kuluev, A. Rakishev and A. Kalbayev) - under clause 148 of the Code. The defendants said they were innocent and the accusations were baseless. Recently President Askar Akayev criticized the Prosecutor General's office for being slow in dealing with the investigation of the Aksy events.
Compiled and translated by Tyntchtykbek Tchoroev and edited by Donald Hill in Prague