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Tajik Opposition Leader Arrested

11 December 2004 -- Tajikistan's chief prosecutor says that the leader of the opposition Democratic Party of Tajikistan was detained for criminal offenses, not political reasons.

Chief prosecutor Bobojan Bobokhanov told a press conference in Dushanbe today that Makhmadruzi Iskandarov was suspected of links to an organized terror group in eastern Tajikistan.

He also said Iskandarov was accused of embezzling more than $40 million.

Iskandarov was detained in Moscow on 9 December at Tajikistan's request.

The Democratic Party of Tajikistan claims their leader was detained for political reasons to remove him from the scene ahead of parliamentary elections due next February.

(ITAR-TASS/ RFE/RL Tajik Service)