BISHKEK. The independent Public Committee For Investigation of Aksy Events and the Institute of Freedom and Human Rights are opposing Saturday's verdict by the Military court handed down on officials allegedly involved in the Aksy shooting. According to the head of the Committee Topchubek Turgunaliev, the Committee and the Institute issued today a statement which considers the court verdict as an unfair attempt by the authorities to withhold truth on the tragedy from the nation and international community. The Kyrgyz opposition says higher officials were not brought to justice for the shooting on March 17-18, 2002, when five protesters were shot dead by police. The opposition politicians say that some key witnesses and lawyers of the plaintiffs were excluded from the court hearing in the town of Maily-Suu.
Meanwhile, the former prosecutor of the Jalal-Abad region, Zootbek Kudaibergenov, told RFE/RL today that the verdict was politically motivated. He stressed that the so-called secret agreement of the opposition and authorities in September 2002, to charge the former Jalal-Abad officials in order to stop the opposition's protest march was illegal. He criticized the Government, as he put it, for its biased policy towards prosecutor's activities.
Zootbek Kudaibergenov was sentenced by the military court to three year imprisonment in accordance with the clause 305 of the Criminal code 'for exceeding his authority' on December 28.