Kyrgyzstan former president Kurmanbek Bakiyev sentenced

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev speaks in parliament in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 2 November 2006 Kurmanbek Bakiyev fled into exile after a revolt in 2010

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A Kyrgyz court has sentenced former president Kurmanbek Bakiyev in absentia to 24 years in jail for abuse of power.

The former president's brother Zhanysh, who led the security services, was given a life term for crimes including murder.

The charges relate to the killing of top official, Meded Sadyrulov, who reportedly fell out with the brothers. They have not commented on the charges.

The ex-president was ousted from office in 2010 during a bloody public revolt.

Both men subsequently fled to Belarus where they were granted political asylum. The former president does not recognise the current administration in Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyzstan was once seen as the most stable and liberal of the ex-Soviet Central Asian republics but it descended into turmoil in 2005 when a popular revolt ejected President Askar Akayev and brought Kurmanbek Bakiyev to power.

His time in office was characterised by political deadlock and spats with opposition parties. His opponents said he became increasingly authoritarian and accused him of corruption.

Public discontent mounted, culminating in violent protests on 7 April 2010 in which more than 80 people died and hundreds were injured. After angry crowds stormed government buildings, the president sought asylum in Belarus, where he remains.

He is also being tried for organising mass killings and ordering troops to fire upon unarmed protesters.

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