Kyrgyz ex-leader’s son claims asylum in the UK

June 18 2010

I wrote a piece for the Guardian today expressing anger at the lack of international response in Kyrgyzstan. I wish now I’d spent the time doing the other thing I had thought about following up – the whereabouts of Maxim Bakiyev, son of the ousted president of Kyrgyzstan who is wanted on charges of fraud in his home country.

After the April revolution he went missing – believed to be in the US and accused of bankrolling groups seeking to destabilise the interim government. He’s at least part of the reason that country is so broke at the moment, and is suspected of channelling aid money destined for the incredibly needy in Kyrgyzstan of to his private bank accounts.

He turned up a couple of days ago in a private plane at Farnborough airport, where he was detained by immigration officials. the Kyrgyz government claimed he had been arrested and requested his extradition. If only things were that simple. According to PA reports and the Telegraph, not only has Bakiyev Jr applied for asylum and been granted a temporary stay, he’s engaged the notorious Carter Ruck to represent him.

Wonder where he got the money for those learned friends?

I’m not usually one of those demanding asylum seekers go home, but in this case I think I might go all Daily Express.

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