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Defense Alleges Official Coercion, Lies In Tajik Case


DUSHANBE, May 31, 2006  (RFE/RL) -- Defense lawyers in a closed-door trial involving the former chief of Tajikistan's presidential guards claim that investigators abused their clients in order to obtain confessions, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Former presidential security chief Gaffor Mirzoev and 15 alleged accomplices are accused of murders and plotting to overthrow President Imomali Rakhmonov. The trial started in January.

Bozorgmehr Yarov, one of the four defense lawyers in the trial, told RFE/RL's Tajik Service that his team is seeking criminal proceedings against the investigators in the case.

Yarov said that investigators applied force to extract confessions from their clients. He also said that some of the evidence was fabricated -- particularly relating to the alleged coup plot against the government.

The military branch of the Supreme Court is conducting the trial behind closed doors.
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