Kyrgyztan court upholds jail sentence for former Prime Minister
© WikiMedia (Bala Biott)
Kyrgyztan court upholds jail sentence for former Prime Minister

The Bishkek City Court on Friday upheld the Birinchi Mai District Court’s 18-year prison sentence of former Kyrgyz Prime Minister Sapar Isakov for corruption.

The Birinchi Mai District Court in Bishkek convicted Isakov last month of misusing funds allocated to the renovation of the State History Museum and the hippodrome in Cholpon-Ata.  According to a Eurasianet report in 2018, the State History Museum reconstruction budget was $22 million and the budget for the hippodrome in Cholpon-Ata was $20 million. The court convicted high profile officials including President Almazbek Atambaev for embezzlement of large sums of money from these funds.

Isakov was also sentenced to 12 years in prison last year for misusing funds allocated to the Bishkek Thermal Power Plant. He lobbied for a Chinese Company that conducted unsatisfactory work on the renovation of the plant, which led to devastating effects when the entire city’s thermal and power systems shut down during winter in 2018. Taking this sentence into consideration, the judge said: “in aggregate, taking into account his earlier conviction and prison sentence of 15 years, Isakov shall be sentenced to 18 years in a high-security penitentiary.” The court has also ordered him to pay $3.3 million as fines.

The cases have emerged from the tensions between current President Sooronbay Jeenbekov and his former ally Almazbek Atambayev.