October 12, 2015 / 8:45 AM / in 2 years

Kyrgyz defense minister sacked, investigated over embezzlement

BISHKEK (Reuters) - Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev sacked his defense minister Abibilla Kudaiberdiyev on Monday after the state security service and prosecutors said they were investigating him for embezzlement.

The move follows a parliamentary election in which Atambayev's allies secured a majority this month and comes at a time when the Central Asian republic faces a growing threat of Islamist militancy.

Atambayev's office said in a brief statement that he had sacked Kudaiberdiyev, naming one of his deputies acting minister, but did not explain why. Kudaiberdiyev was not immediately available for comment.

Separately, the state security service and military prosecutor said they were investigating the embezzlement of 12 million som ($175,000) at the ministry and had launched a criminal probe against Kudaiberdiyev.

The defense ministry had no immediate comment on the matter.

Reporting by Olga Dzyubenko; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Tom Heneghan

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