MOSCOW – Kyrgyzstan has detained a prominent opposition leader on charges of fraud and corruption, claims that his supporters say are politically motivated.
A press representative of the State Committee for National Security, or GKNB, said that Omurbek Tekebayev is alleged to have received a $1 million bribe from a Russian businessman when he was serving as deputy prime minister in 2010 for the Central Asian nation.
Tekebayev, the leader of Kyrgyzstan's Ata-Meken party, has vigorously denied the charges.
Supporters are holding demonstrations to protest the arrest, which occurred shortly after Tekebayev arrived in Bishkek airport early Sunday on a flight from Vienna.
Kyrgyzstan has opened a string of criminal cases against opposition figures in recent months that critics allege are politically motivated. Presidential elections in the landlocked country are scheduled for November.