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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bishkek Seeks U.S. Soldier Who Killed Civilian

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- The Kyrgyz Prosecutor General's Office said Monday that it had asked the United States to hand over a U.S. serviceman to be tried for killing a civilian.

Prosecutors argued that despite the immunity granted to U.S. military personnel deployed in the country, the airman should face criminal prosecution "due to the gravity of the crime and public demands that justice be ensured."

The prosecutor's office said in a statement that it had notified the relevant U.S. government officials of its demand.

The U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Manas Air Base, near Bishkek, declined to comment Monday.

The shooting took place in December when truck driver Alexander Ivanov was going through a security check at the entrance to the U.S. base, which supports operations in Afghanistan. The U.S. military has said Ivanov was fired upon after he threatened the U.S. serviceman with a knife.

Last week, Kyrgyz authorities said they had completed their investigation of the incident and concluded that the U.S. serviceman had exceeded the limits of self-defense.

At the time, however, the prosecutor's office said the serviceman could not be charged because of his diplomatic status.

A U.S. investigation of the incident has not yet been completed, the U.S. Embassy said.

Monday's statement came hours after President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's office said he had signed an order Sunday dismissing Prosecutor General Kambaraly Kongantiyev. It was unclear if there was any link between the demand that the serviceman be tried and Kongantiyev's dismissal, which the opposition sought. His replacement has not been named.

Kongantiyev has been criticized by the opposition for failing to solve a number of high-profile murders, including the killings of lawmakers. The opposition has also accused him of persecuting government opponents.