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Tajik Former Presidential Guard Officer Sentenced

11 February 2005 -- The Tajik Supreme Court's Military Collegium has sentenced a former deputy commander of the presidential guard to 15 years in prison.

The head of the Military Collegium, Vaysiddin Fathulloev, told the Tajik news agency Asia-Plus that Major General Abduvali Begmatov was found guilty of large-scale embezzlement of state funds, abuse of power, illegal possession of weapons, and negligence.

It is unclear when the sentence was imposed.

Begmatov was deputy to former presidential-guard commander Ghaffor Mirzoev. Both were arrested last summer.

Mirzoev was charged with murder, illegal business activities, and possession of a large amount of weapons.