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Suspect In Uzbek Imam's Shooting Goes On Trial In Sweden

  • RFE/RL's Uzbek Service

Obidkhon Qori Nazarov was one of the most popular imams in Central Asia in the early 1990s.

Obidkhon Qori Nazarov was one of the most popular imams in Central Asia in the early 1990s.

OSTERSUND, Sweden -- An Uzbek suspect in the 2012 assassination attempt on an outspoken emigre cleric living in Sweden has gone on trial.

Thirty-seven-year-old Yury Zhukovsky was extradited to Sweden from Russia on August 25 on suspicion of having gunned down Obidkhon Qori Nazarov, an imam who was granted asylum in Sweden in 2006 after fleeing Uzbekistan in 1998.

Nazarov was shot at least three times in the town of Stromsund, where he lives and suffers from brain damage as a result of the attack, according to relatives.

The trial is taking place in Sweden's central city of Ostersund.

Swedish prosecutor Krister Petersson told RFE/RL earlier that there was abundant evidence to suggest the Uzbek authorities were behind the attack.

Nazarov was one of the most popular imams in Central Asia in the early 1990s. He openly criticized Uzbek President Islam Karimov, an authoritarian leader who observers say views strong religious faith as a challenge to his control.

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