Alleged Kyrgyz Crime Boss Who Sat on Parliament Shot to Death

Alleged organized crime boss Ryspek Akmatbayev, who won a seat in parliament last month, was killed in a shooting attack in the Kyrgyz capital late Wednesday, his spokesman said.

Ismail Kochkarov confirmed the death, but declined to elaborate. Russian news reports said the attack took place at a cafe in a residential neighborhood of Bishkek.

CountryWatch: Kyrgyzstan

Akmatbayev won a parliament seat this year in a by-election. The election victory underlined rising concerns about the growing influence of organized crime in the country in the year since a popular uprising drove longtime President Askar Akayev from power.

Akmatbayev served two prison terms for founding a criminal gang and possessing illegal weapons. He recently was tried for three murders and acquitted.

Three other lawmakers have been killed in the past year and President Kurmanbek Bakiyev is faced with a growing tide of discontent.