Met arrests son of ousted Kyrgyz leader

Maksim Bakiyev faces extradition to the US, charged with conspiracy to defraud and perverting the course of justice

Scotland Yard has arrested the son of the ousted former president of Kyrgyzstan in London. Businessman Maksim Bakiyev, 34, faces extradition to the US on charges of conspiracy to defraud and perverting the course of justice. Mr Bakiyev appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court on Friday and was released on bail until December. He arrived in the UK in June 2010, after his father, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, was forced out of power following a popular uprising. He is believed to have sought political asylum after arriving at Farnborough airport, Surrey, aboard a private jet.

Kyrgyz authorities accuse Maksim Bakiyev, a former head of the country's Central Agency for Development, of embezzling hundreds of millions of dollars of state assets while his father was in power. He has also been accused of fomenting ethnic violence in the south of the country in 2010, which resulted in up to 500 deaths. Mr Bakiyev denies the allegations. He claims the accusations are politically motivated.

The new government in Bishkek claims Britain has failed to co-operate with its requests to extradite Mr Bakiyev to Kyrgyzstan or help trace missing assets. They claim he was allowed to live a luxury lifestyle, buying a multimillion-pound house in central London, despite the fact that Interpol had issued an international arrest warrant for him.

Mr Bakiyev's arrest at the request of Washington is believed to be linked to corruption allegations surrounding the supply of aviation fuel to Manas airport in the former Soviet central Asian Republic. Manas is a key supply airfield for US and Nato military operations in Afghanistan.

US congressional investigators and the FBI are examining Kyrgyz claims that six companies said to be controlled by Mr Bakiyev evaded millions of dollars in excise taxes. They are also examining the details of the fuel contract, worth $730m (£450m), which was awarded to the companies without competitive tendering, under a "no-bid" exemption on the grounds of national security. Critics claim the contract is part of what was described in Congress as the US's "cosy relationship" with Mr Bakiyev and his family, with the apparent aim of ensuring access to Manas airport.

His father fled to Belarus after protesters seized his government's HQ in April 2010. The revolt resulted in as many as 90 people being killed when security forces opened fire on opposition supporters. Belarus has refused repeated requests to extradite the former president to face trial in connection with the killings.

The office of the current Kyrgyz President, Almazbek Atambayev, said that Mr Bakiyev had been arrested "for grave crimes", but gave no details. "Because of the absence of an extradition agreement between the Kyrgyz Republic and Great Britain, the British side is now considering the issue of extraditing Maksim Bakiyev to the United States," it said.

The British embassy in Kyrgyzstan said yesterday that the prosecution of corrupt former Kyrgyz officials could help the goal of ensuring stability in the troubled former Soviet nation. An embassy spokesman said: "The leadership and people of Kyrgyzstan are keen to ensure that those accused of past abuses of power are brought before the courts to answer allegations against them."

News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Johnny Depp no longer cares if people criticise his movie flops
films
Arts and Entertainment
All in a day's work: the players in the forthcoming 'Posh People: Inside Tatler'
TVGrace Dent thinks we should learn to 'hug a Hooray Henry', because poshness is an accident of birth
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
art

Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax

Arts and Entertainment
Convicted art fraudster John Myatt
art

News
The two-year-old said she cut off her fringe because it was getting in her eyes
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game