UK allows ousted Kyrgyz president's son to stay for now

Bishkek to demand that Britain extradite Maxim Bakiyev, accused of embezzling millions

Britain has granted the controversial son of the toppled leader of Kyrgyzstan temporary leave to remain in the country. Maxim Bakiyev, the multi-millionaire son of Kurmanbek Bakiyev, arrived in the UK last week and is claiming asylum.

Mr Bakiyev, 32, has been accused of embezzling millions of dollars from government funds. He is also said to be responsible for fomenting Kyrgyzstan's recent inter-ethnic violence in which as many as 2,000 people may have died and hundreds of thousands were forced to flee their homes.

The US assistant secretary of state for central Asia, Robert Blake, called for an international investigation yesterday into the possible causes of the violence and for Kyrgyzstan to create conditions for a safe return of the refugees.

In a statement yesterday Mr Bakiyev denied the charges levelled against him. "I have been forced into exile in fear for my life," he said. "The interim government in Kyrgyzstan accuses me of new crimes every day. The charges are bogus, to divert attention from their own crimes. They accuse me before there has been any opportunity for an investigation. Clearly, they seek to try to make me a scapegoat for the chaos in the country. I view events in my homeland with horror and pray for an end to the violence."

Mr Bakiyev arrived in Britain last week after travelling by private jet to Farnborough, Hampshire, and immediately requested asylum, according to his lawyers. "Following interviews conducted in accordance with immigration rules, Mr Bakiyev was screened in accordance with normal procedures for port-of-entry asylum claims, and then granted temporary admission pending the consideration of his claim," a spokesman said.

The interim Kyrgyz government will press Britain to deny Mr Bakiyev asylum and extradite him. They have already threatened to close the US airbase, sited in the north of the country, unless he is returned. The airbase is a vital part in the resupply logistics for Nato's Afghanistan operation. A small demonstration demanding Mr Bakiyev's return was held outside the building that houses representatives of the UK's Department for International Development in Bishkek, the Kyrgyz capital. Britain does not have an embassy there.

Officials accuse Mr Bakiyev of embezzling part of a £204m Russian loan to Kyrgyzstan and of "irregularities" in his management of the US airbase. According to a spokesman for the Kyrgyz prosecutor general's office, a criminal case was launched against Mr Bakiyev in May. Before arriving in Britain, Mr Bakiyev, the former head of the Kyrgyz Central Agency for Development, was believed to have travelled to one of the Baltic states. An arrest warrant on fraud charges was issued through Interpol after he disappeared from the country.

His father, the deposed president, left Kyrgyzstan in April after a violent revolt amid allegations of corruption resulted in fighting in which dozens of protesters died. He is currently in exile in Belarus.

Since then, more than 400,000 people, mainly women and children, have been displaced and are now living in cramped and squalid refugee camps on the borders of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, while reports of rapes and beatings have shot up. Last week ethnic fighting continued, and aid is being flown in, but tens of thousands are said to be without water or food.

The UN yesterday announced a £48m appeal for Kyrgyzstan. The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, said there were shortages of food, water and electricity and warned that hospitals are running low on supplies.

John Holmes, head of the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, urged "a "generous and rapid response" from donors. "I have been shocked by the extent of the violence and appalled by the deaths and injuries, widespread arson, sexual violence and looting," he said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Cancer Research UK: Corporate Partnerships Volunteer Events Coordinator – London

Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...

Ashdown Group: Head of IT - Hertfordshire - £90,000

£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions