Kyrgyzstan: Government pursues former central banker
General prosecutor to appeal not guilty verdict against Ulan Sarbanov.
|Sarbanov: found not guilty of abuse of office
Ulan Sarbanov, former central bank governor of Kyrgyzstan, says he is relieved that a court found him not guilty on charges of theft and abuse of office at the end of April. But he is worried that his ordeal is not over. “The general prosecutor’s office is appealing the verdict now and pushing for it to be transferred to a higher court”, he tells Euromoney. “I’m afraid the case has powerful political support.” The appeal is likely to come to court this month. Sarbanov is one of a number of figures from the former Akayev regime who are being prosecuted by the new government in Kyrgyzstan. The general prosecutor’s office has accused him of illegally giving the government of the former president, Askar Akayev, $400,000 in 1999. Sarbanov admits he did so, during an emergency situation when the government was fighting with armed militants. He says this was not illegal according to the charter of the central bank. If convicted, he could go to prison for 12 years, and have his property confiscated.
Foreign investors such as the Investment Business Council say he is an honest technocrat, who managed to create a stable currency, one of the few areas where Kyrgyzstan outperforms its regional neighbours.