Former Kyrgyzstan Prime Minister Sapar Isakov and a former mayor of Bishkek, Kubanychbek Kulmatov, have been taken into custody in a graft case related to modernization work at a power plant in the capital city, according to Radio Liberty’s Kyrgyz Service 

A court in Bishkek’s Pervomaisk district ruled on June 5 that Isakov should be jailed in pretrial detention for two months, a week after he was charged with corruption. 

The ruling by the Pervomaisk district court came after the State Committee for National Security (GKNB) summoned Isakov for a fourth time in the case since his cabinet was dismissed in April following a no-confidence vote.

The former mayor of Bishkek, Kubanychbek Kulmatov, who was taken into custody on the same day, will remain in detention until June 28, his lawyer said.

Former mayor of Bishkek Kubanychbek Kulmatov; photo/

Kulmatov, who had also served as the head of the State Customs Service, was charged with corruption on May 18.

In separate statements, the GKNB said that Isakov and Kulmatov would be jailed for the duration of the investigation, adding that they were charged with corruption and ordered not to leave the country.

Isakov said the judge's decision was “totally unjust.”

The charge against Isakov stems from 2013, when he was implementing a project to modernize the Bishkek Thermal Power Station while serving as deputy head of the administration of former President Almazbek Atambayev.

He is accused of using his position to lobby for the interests of the Chinese company TBEA in the selection process of a contractor for the modernization of the power plant, inflicting great damage on the Kyrgyz state and society.

Both Isakov and Kulmatov are considered to be close associates of Atambayev.

The pressure on Isakov was seen as one of several examples of an ongoing rift between President Sooronbai Jeenbekov and his predecessor, Atambayev, who backed Jeenbekov in the October presidential election but has criticized him in recent weeks.