Friday, April 06, 2012 -
Kyrgyzstan’s energy minister will get back to work after being cleared abuse of office and negligence over the purchase of highly radioactive coal from Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz government said on Friday.
The Kyrgyz premier temporarily suspended Askarbek Shadiev in mid-March after the Prosecutor-General laid criminal charges laid against Shadiev.
But this week a special parliamentary investigating commission concluded that the minister was not implicated in the scandal.
"Minister of Energy Askarbek Shadiev will take up his duties, invalidating his suspension by the Prime Minister’s Office on March 14,” read a decree signed by Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov.
Kyrgyz governing bodies purchased around 9,000 tons of radioactive coal from Kulansko mine in southern Kazakhstan in September 2011.
Some of the contaminated coal was sent to keep schools warm over the frigid winter, but tests revealed gamma radiation levels exceeding accepted norms by as much as 26 times.
Shadiev was one of seven officials charged by the prosecutor in a scandal that made international headlines.
The parliamentary investigators also declared his deputy Kairat Djumaliev innocent of negligence.
The remaining unused coal was returned to Kazakhstan.