Suspects in Tajik general’s murder sentenced
The visiting collegiate of the Supreme Court of Tajikistan sentenced two suspects to 17 and 16 years of imprisonment, finding them guilty in killing Secret Services General Abdullo Nazarov, the ITAR-TASS reports.
The Supreme Court collegiate traveled to Khorog, the administrative center of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, to hold the trial behind closed doors in a local probationary ward. Two locals, Okil Ayyombekov, the brother of a well-known ex-warlord, and unemployed Khamza Murodov, were tried and sentenced.
According to BBC, the defendants have confessed to their crime but claimed the manslaughter was not premeditated. The defense claimed that the general died in an accident. However, the judges decided to accept the prosecutor’s version that the crime was committed intentionally.
The Asia-Plus agency quotes the defendants’ lawyer as saying the sentence was “rather reasonable.” “My client [Mr. Ayyombekov] does not oppose the sentence because he has turned himself in. But if he decides to appeal it, we will defend his legal right to do so,” the lawyer also said.
According to the lawyer, Mr. Murodov’s sentence would be appealed against, because “the preliminary investigation wrongly characterized his actions.” The lawyer explained that Mr. Murodov did not directly participate in General Nazarov’s murder, but only concealed the crime. Therefore, he must be tried accordingly.
The assassination of General Nazarov triggered a full-scale military operation in Khorog on 24 July 2012. Official sources estimate 18 Tajik servicemen were killed and scores were wounded. Tajik human rights activists claim the death toll is much higher; the number of killed so-called insurgents is still unknown.