Ulaanbaatar’s Chingeltei District Court decided today (23 May) to release B.Khurts, the controversial former director of Mongolian’s General Intelligence Agency (GIA) on bail. He has been detained by the Criminal Police Department over the ongoing ‘torture to confess’ investigation. B.Khurts was taken to the 461st Detention Centre on 23 April. The ex-spy-chief has been accused of breaching the laws on intelligence procedures by using torture to obtain confessions from defendants of the much-publicised murder case of the politician S.Zorig, who one of the heroes of Mongolia’s peaceful transition to democracy and a likely future prime-minister.
Following an investigation lasting two decades – in which there have been accusations of cover-ups and during which numerous people, including the victim’s wife, have been detained – Ts.Amgalanbaatar and two others were sentenced to 24-25 years in prison for the murder of S.Zorig.The murder case was transferred to the Criminal Police Department from Independent Authority of Anti-Corruption due to the lack of human resources on 19 March.
Previously, B.Khurts was involved in the abduction of Mongolian dissident Enkhbat Damiran, then living in France, who was forcibly returned to Ulaanbaatar and died in custody, allegedly following torture. For this B.Khurts was arrested when visiting London in 2010 and held in Wandsworth Prison, before being sent to Germany and finally returned to Mongolia in 2011 in the lead up to a visit by Chancellor Merkel. The next year he was appointed head of the GIA.