Bitel not run by ex-president, says commission

25 Apr 2005

A state commission has concluded that wireless operator Bitel is not controlled by the family of ousted president Askar Akaev, who was removed from office in the 24 March revolt against the Kyrgyzstan government. During the uprising, Bitel’s headquarters were attacked and looted by protesters who alleged that Akaev’s son and other family members were profiteering from the cellco. State prosecutors subsequently started investigating the company in an attempt to unravel its true ownership. The latest official statement could see an end to the confusion surrounding Bitel’s takeover by Kazakhstan-based bank Alliance Capital and partner Seimar, announced earlier this month. However, Bitel’s assets have been frozen since 30 March under a court order resulting from a separate dispute with Russia’s Alfa Group, which claims that Bitel’s previous owners failed to execute an option for Alfa to purchase it.

Kyrgyzstan, Sky Mobile (Beeline)