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Former Chief Of Tajik National Airline Arrested

Hokimsho Tilloev in January 2008

Hokimsho Tilloev in January 2008

DUSHANBE -- Hokimsho Tilloev, the former head of Tajik Air, has been arrested, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Tilloev, who was chief of Tajikistan's national airlines in 2006-08, was detained just a few days after the Prosecutor-General's Office opened a criminal investigation against him.

Prosecutors said the charges against him are not linked to his tenure as head of Tajik Air but rather to his work with a private company he formed after leaving Tajik Air.

Officials say Tilloev couldn't pay his company's debts and his creditors made official complaints. It is unclear what Tilloev is being charged with.

Many observers link Tilloev's case to the restructuring of Tajik Air in which it will be divided into seven separate companies and foreign airlines will be allowed to compete with the national airline for flights. Tilloev opposed the reorganization.