BISHKEK. The military court today continued the hearing against former officials allegedly involved in the Aksy shootings in March 17-18, 2002. A lawyer for one of the accused and the former head of the Aksy district, Shermamat Osmonov, asked the judge to invite the leader of the Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Movement, Tursunbek Akun, and some other officials as witnesses in court. One of the lawyers of the plaintiffs, Sartpai Jaichibekov, did not attend the hearing. He sent a letter which says that the plaintiffs, the Aksy district residents, are demanding to hold the hearing in Kerben, the center of the Aksy district. That is why they advised the lawyer not to attend the hearing in the town of Maily-Suu. The court continued to listen to other witnesses' testimony, taken during the investigations of the Aksy shooting.
Begaly Chetimbaev, 31, Kadyrkul Saparaliev, 37, Sovetbek Tagaev, 24, Satymbek Urkumbaev, 44, and Eldar Umetaliev, 23, were shot dead during their protest action in Aksy district of the Jalal-Abad region. They were among the supporters of MP, Azimbek Beknazarov, jailed by authorities at that time. The opposition regarded Beknazarov's detention as politically motivated and he was freed on March 19, 2002. During a live TV broadcast on Wednesday, December 25, President A. Akayev called the Aksy events one of the main events in Kyrgyzstan this year and said it had a huge impact on the political development in the country.
Compiled and translated by Tyntchtykbek Tchoroev and edited by Bruce Pannier in Prague