Kyrgyz capital's ex-mayor charged with corruption

By the Associated Press | June 25, 2012 | 11:48 AM EDT

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (AP) — A court in Kyrgyzstan has brought charges of corruption against the capital city's former mayor and ordered he be kept in custody for two months.

Prosecutors said Monday that Nariman Tyuleyev engaged in bribery that cost the state $1.4 million by overseeing the purchase of unneeded buses from neighboring China.

Tyuleyev nominally enjoys legal immunity as a member of parliament, but security services say the gravity of his offense is sufficient to void those privileges.

Tyuleyev served as Bishkek mayor under former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who was unseated in a public uprising in 2010.

The jailing may provoke rallies in Tyuleyev's support, raising the specter of instability in this former Soviet Central Asian nation.

The United States rents an air base in Kyrgyzstan used to support operations in Afghanistan.