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15 Years for American – In Absentia

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan — A Bishkek district court has sentenced a U.S. 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.

The ruling was passed March 3, but not made public. The Associated Press obtained a copy Wednesday.

The depot is at an airport used for U.S. military operations in nearby Afghanistan. Before the overthrow of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev last year, Eugene Gourevich ran a consulting company advising the government on economy. He fled Kyrgyzstan after Bakiyev's overthrow.

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

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