March 7, 2006 -- The closed trial of suspected members of an armed rebel group ended today in northern Tajikistan.
A spokesman for the court in Sogd said six men, including one from Uzbekistan, were sentenced to long jail terms ranging from 15 to 18 years for "trying to take power by force," treason, and criminal activity.
The press service of the region's prosecutor's office said two others were sentenced to two years in prison for assisting the rebels.
The accused were supporters of former rebel leader Mahmud Khudoiberdiev, whose army launched an attack in the Sogd region in late 1998 before being defeated by government forces. The attempt followed a five-year civil war that ended in 1997.
Khudoiberdiev managed to flee the country, but more than 150 of his followers were arrested and tried.