Uzbek Opposition Leader Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison
<div class="caption"><div class="watermark"> <a href="http://gdb.rferl.org/B70F46CD-9B81-40D1-AD87-16DF5A8F3A2D_mw800_mh600.jpg" rel="ibox" title="Sanjar Umarov (file photo) (AFP)"> <img alt="Sanjar Umarov (file photo) (AFP)" src="http://gdb.rferl.org/B70F46CD-9B81-40D1-AD87-16DF5A8F3A2D_w203.jpg" class="photo" border="0"></a></div><p>Sanjar Umarov (file photo) (AFP)</p></div>March 6, 2006 -- An Uzbek court today sentenced opposition leader Sanjar Umarov to more than 10 years in prison after finding him guilty of economic crimes.
Judge Zokirjon Isaev said Umarov "headed an organized criminal group and also created several offshore companies to commit economic crimes, which resulted in large economic losses to the interests of Uzbekistan."
Supporters of Umarov, who is a co-leader in the opposition Sunshine Uzbekistan coalition, claim it is Umarov's opposition to the current authorities that sparked the legal case against him.
Umarov was arrested last October and charged with economic crimes. Prosecutors had asked for him to receive an 18-year jail sentence.