BISHKEK - Kyrgyzstan's state security body said on Wednesday it had audio recordings that showed several opposition politicians planned mass riots to oust President Almazbek Atambayev, but two of the accused politicians denounced the recordings as fakes.
Violent protests brought down two of the last four presidents in the central Asian former Soviet republic - Askar Akayev in 2005 and Kurmanbek Bakiyev in 2010.
"Audio recordings that have appeared on the Internet ... are confirmed [as authentic] by audio recordings in the possession of the State National Security Committee," the security body said in a statement.
The committee said it had obtained its own recordings as part of a criminal investigation and with court approval.
"The investigation continues," it said without naming the people in the recordings.
Local media named the politicians in edited versions of the audio tapes and two of them, former prosecutor general Azimbek Beknazarov and former diplomat Mambetzhunus Abylov, denied any wrongdoing.
"That is not even my voice. It is a fake," Abylov told reporters.
"This is absurd," said Beknazarov.
At the same time, Beknazarov and Abylov, who are both leaders of the opposition El Unu (People's Voice) movement, said they had cancelled a planned rally in the city of Osh on March 24 because of Kyrgyzstan's border standoff with Uzbekistan.
The Bishkek government this week called an urgent meeting in Moscow of a Russia-led security bloc in order to draw attention to a standoff with bigger neighbor Uzbekistan in an area where the border between the two has not been officially defined.
Both sides briefly stationed dozens of troops and several armored personnel carriers in the disputed area but have since withdrawn most of their servicemen.
Kyrgyzstan's foreign ministry said on Wednesday it has sent a note to Uzbekistan demanding the withdrawal of all troops and military equipment from the area.