Tajikistan: ex-commander of the Presidential Guard drew life imprisonment
Lieutenant General Gaffor Mirzoyev, ex-commander of the Presidential Guard, drew life imprisonment. Mirzoyev, 50, was sentenced to lifetime behind the bars on August 11, two years after his arrest in 2004 that stirred all of the country. Known throughout Tajikistan as Gaffor the Grey, the general was one of President Emomali Rakhmonov's most loyal supporters. One of the best known commanders of the pro-communist People's Front, Mirzoyev fought the opposition in the civil war in Tajikistan in the middle of the 1990's.
The court found Mirzoyev guilty of organization of an armed revolt, attempt to topple the regime, and many other crimes. The trial was closed because of "certain state secret involved" according to the Tajik Prosecutor General's Office.
Well-informed and trustworthy sources in Dushanbe maintain that Mirzoyev was locked away in the course of the struggle for control over the Tajik Aluminium Factory in the city of Tursunzade. The largest such factory in Central Asia, it is the principal source of income for the Tajik treasury and the main sponsor of the Presidential Guard that went on working even when the civil war was raging in the republic. Needless to say, battles for control over it have continued for years. Factory director Abdukodyr Ermatov and Avan Nazarov of Ansol (the company that provided the factory with alumina) escaped to Great Britain for fear of arrest in 2005. These days, Rakhmonov controls the Tajik Aluminium Factory via Hasan Sadulloyev, his brother-in-law and Orien-Bank owner.