Kyrgyzstan's Bakiyev in Minsk
MINSK, April 20 (RIA Novosti) - Deposed Kyrgyz president Kurmanbek Bakiyev is currently in Minsk under the protection of the authorities, the Belarusian president said on Tuesday.
"Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev and his family are in Minsk under the protection of our state and under my personal [protection]," Alexander Lukashenko said in his annual state-of-the-nation address, adding that Bakiyev had arrived in Minsk late on Monday.
Bakiyev, who was ousted amid violent anti-government protests on April 6-7, fled from Kyrgyzstan to neighboring Kazakhstan on April 15, after the opposition, which had taken power in the country, lifted his presidential immunity and threatened to arrest him.
Media reports said on Saturday that Bakiyev had left Kazakhstan, but his whereabouts remained unknown until Tuesday. Lukashenko said on Sunday Belarus was ready to host Bakiyev and give him and his family whatever help they need.
Kyrgyzstan's interim authorities have said they consider Belarus a friendly state and expect Minsk to ensure the security of the ousted president until a trial can be held.
"We ask Belarus and the country's authorities to ensure Bakiyev's security before he faces trial for numerous crimes against the Kyrgyz nation," said Edil Baisalov, the interim government's chief of staff.
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