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Turkmenistan: President Fires Chief Prosecutor

Ashgabat, 3 April 1997 (RFE/RL) - Turkmenistan's President Saparmurat Niyazov has fired Chief Prosecutor Bayrammurat Ashyrliyev and replaced him with Gurbanbibi Atajanova.

Niyazov announced the firing yesterday in a speech to Turkmen law enforcement officials. Niyazov criticized the work of prosecutors, who he said failed to jail real criminals while prosecuting "innocent people." And Niyazov noted the prosecution of teenagers, for whom he said alternate punishment and social training should be provided.

Our Ashgabat correspondent quotes Niyazov as saying that failures of law enforcement officials have led to Turkmenistan's unprecedented crime and corruption. He also cited widespread bribery as a reason prosecutors fail to pursue investigations.