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Wednesday, April 27, 2005


Former Tajik minister gets 15 years

From The Moscow Times:

A former Tajik interior minister and prominent government critic was sentenced to 15 years in prison for state treason, banditry and abuse of office, while an opposition leader was detained and charged with terrorism and abuse of office, the prosecutor general said Tuesday.

The former minister, Yakub Salimov, was arrested in Russia last year at Tajikistan's request and extradited in February.

Salimov was a former leader of the Popular Front movement that brought President Emomali Rakhmonov to power and fought against the Islamic opposition in the country's 1992-97 civil war. A former ambassador to Turkey, he is accused of sponsoring an anti-Rakhmonov uprising staged in late 1996 by Colonel Mahmud Khudoyberdiyev, another Popular Front leader.

The Democratic Party leader, Makhmadruzi Iskandarov, had also taken refuge in Russia. He went missing in Moscow last week after being freed by Russian authorities, who had detained him on a Tajik request four months earlier. He has been charged with terrorism, illegal possession of arms, attempted murder, abuse of office and theft of state funds, Prosecutor General Bobojon Bobokhonov said.

Bobokhonov did not say how or where Iskandarov, who had said he would run for the Tajik presidency next year, had been arrested.

Mirzoyev was detained in August after police seized more than 3,000 weapons from him.

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