BISHKEK — Former Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov, who resigned in October amid anti-government rallies protesting the results of parliamentary elections, has been summoned as a witness in the corruption case of former Deputy Prime Minister Duishenbek Zilaliev.
Zilaliev’s lawyer, Taalaigul Toktakunova, told RFE/RL on January 29 that Jeenbekov was initially ordered to come to the Bishkek City Court on January 28, which he did not do, as he was attending the inauguration of his successor, Sadyr Japarov, that day.
According to Toktakunova, the court now wants Jeenbekov to testify at a hearing into her client’s appeal on February 3.
Zilaliev was arrested in late 2018 and sentenced to nine years in prison in October 2020 after he was found guilty of illegal enrichment. Investigators have said that they found $1 million in cash in Zilaliev’s safety deposit box in a Bishkek bank.
“Zilaliev told investigators that the cash was not his but belonged to Jeenbekov’s election campaign before he was elected as president in December 2017. Because Jeenbekov was the president at the time, he was not questioned. Now, because he is an ordinary citizen, he can be summoned,” Toktakunova said.
Neither Jeenbekov nor his lawyers have commented on the allegations.