Former Kyrgyzstan president Almazbek Atambayev was yesterday seized from his fortified compound by special forces troops – ending a six-week stand-off as he fought to avoid standing trial on corruption charges.
His detention followed a botched attempt to arrest him on Wednesday when at least one soldier was killed and 52 people injured in clashes with his supporters near the capital, Bishkek.
Mr Atambayev (62) was branded a criminal by his mentor-turned-nemesis, President Sooronbai Jeenbekov, who said: “By putting up fierce armed resistance to the investigative measures undertaken within the framework of the law, Almazbek Atambayev heavily trampled upon the constitution and laws of Kyrgyzstan.”
The arrest of Mr Atambayev ends a stand-off which began when parliament voted to strip him of his immunity from prosecution. But Erica Marat, associate professor at the National Defence University in Washington DC, said the violent end to the dispute had weakened a nation already considered the least stable country in Central Asia.