BISHKEK. Birinchi Mai District court in Bishkek today changed its verdict passed on January 10, against the independent newspaper 'Kyrgyz Ordo'. Chief editor of the paper, Beken Nazaraliev and his lawyer Toktorbek Ashyrkul-uulu told RFERL today that the district court changed its mind without any written protest from the defendants. The court found the newspaper guilty of insulting an official of the Kyrgyz Customs Service and ordered the paper closed. The defendants were expecting the written order of the court to appeal to the higher court authorities to overturn the decision as unjust. The district court did not explain the new move. However, it upheld the old decision on the arrest of the property of the newspaper. Nazaraliev said that he will appeal to the Bishkek city court to overturn the latest verdict.
There are ongoing court processes against another independent newspaper, 'Moya stolitsa' (My capital city) in Bishkek. Experts and human rights activists say that the cases against the Russian paper are politically motivated.
Compiled and translated by Tyntchtykbek Tchoroev
and edited by Tim Jasek in Prague