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Ex-leader sentenced to 24 years

A court in the Kyrgyzstan capital, Bishkek, has sentenced fugitive former president Kurmanbek Bakiyev to 24 years in prison for abuse of office and handed a life term to his brother for murder and other crimes.

The verdicts give the authorities legal grounds to resume demanding the ex-leader's extradition from Belarus.

Bakiyev was granted political asylum by Minsk after crowds seized his government headquarters in an April 2010 revolt in which about 90 people were killed when security forces opened fire on opposition protesters.

Belarus, run by the authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko, has repeatedly rejected Kyrgyzstan's demands to extradite the former president.

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Local government

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