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[Washington Babylon]

U.S. Lobbying Firm’s Kyrgyz Ties


APCO Worldwide, which wanted to represent Turkmenistan for me, has shady ties in Kyrgyzstan as well.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Weeks before ethnic clashes killed hundreds of people in this Central Asian republic, an audio recording was posted on YouTube that presaged the mayhem.

“We need to find 500 b—ds…and keep [the country] in a constant mess,” said a voice that government officials here say was that of Maksim Bakiyev, the 32-year-old son of the ousted president. “Somebody needs to kick up a fuss.”

The recording of the phone call sparked fresh intrigue. From exile in Minsk, President Kurmanbek Bakiyev denied any connection to the unrest in Kyrgyzstan; the head of Kyrgyzstan’s new interim government says it shows the former regime is seeking to return to power. The younger Mr. Bakiyev was detained in the U.K. Monday on charges by Kyrgyz authorities that include abuse of office and misuse of state funds…

While details of the charges are sketchy, one involves the younger Mr. Bakiyev’s relationship with Asia Universal Bank, a Kyrgyz bank that was advised by U.S. consultants APCO Worldwide.

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