Kyrgyz court sentences US businessman to 15 years

AP News
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Posted: Mar 16, 2011 11:09 AM
Kyrgyz court sentences US businessman to 15 years

A court has sentenced an American businessman to 15 years in jail in absentia for selling a fuel depot in Kyrgyzstan to a U.S. company at $3 million below the market rate.

A sentencing statement obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday said Leninsky District Court in Bishkek convicted Eugene Gourevich on March 3. The ruling wasn't immediately made public.

The depot is at an airport also used as a U.S. air base that is a key transportation and refueling hub for military operations in nearby Afghanistan.

Before the overthrow of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev last year, Gourevich ran a consulting company advising the government on economic reforms and investments. Gourevich fled Kyrgyzstan after Bakiyev's overthrow.

Kyrgyz authorities believe the Bakiyev family benefited financially from opaque fuel supply deals with the U.S. air base.