Kyrgyzstan to reopen case of murdered journalist

Published April 9, 2012 12:54PM (EDT)

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (AP) — Kyrgyzstan's highest court has overturned a murder conviction in the case of a prominent journalist who was shot in the turbulent former Soviet nation in 2007, and ordered a new investigation in the killing.

Supreme Court spokesman Baktybek Rysaliyev said Monday the verdict that led to the sentencing of a drug trafficker for the murder of Alisher Saipov has been overturned.

Rysaliyev says the case will be sent for review to a court in the southern city of Osh, where Saipov was killed.

Saipov, who was 26, edited a newspaper that harshly criticized neighboring Uzbekistan's authoritarian policies. He also worked for the U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Voice of America.

Many analysts and activists believe Saipov was targeted by Uzbek security services.

Saipov was a member of Kyrgyzstan's sizable ethnic Uzbek minority.

By Salon Staff

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