Fri, 19 Jul 2019

TASHKENT -- Former Uzbek Prosecutor-General Rashidjon Qodirov has been sentenced to 10 years in prison on corruption charges.

The Tashkent City Court on June 26 sentenced Qodirov after finding him guilty of bribe-taking, extortion, financial fraud, tax evasion, obstruction of justice, and money laundering.

Twelve other defendants in the case were sentenced to different prison terms, the longest of which was 19 years.

Qodirov was arrested in February 2018 and charged with extortion, bribery, and abuse of office.

He and his co-defendants went on trial in January.

Qodirov was arrested some three years after he was sacked amid a purge of officials connected to the investigation of Gulnara Karimova, the eldest daughter of late President Islam Karimov.

She was placed under house arrest in Tashkent in 2014 when her father was still in office. Karimov died in 2016 and was succeeded by Shavkat Mirziyoev.

In December 2017, Karimova was sentenced to a 10-year prison term but several months later the sentence was shortened to five years and switched to house arrest.

Qodirov, who served as the country's top law enforcement official for 15 years, was the prosecutor-general in 2014 when Karimova was initially charged.

Uzbekistan became isolated and economically stagnant under Karimov, who tightly ruled the country after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Since Karimov's death in 2016, Mirziyoev has publicly criticized government agencies and has taken steps to sack or remove many officials in power during his predecessor's rule.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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