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Charges Dropped In Costly Tajik Aluminum Corruption Trial

The Talco aluminum plant
The Talco aluminum plant
DUSHANBE -- Tajik Prosecutor-General Bobojon Bobokhonov says criminal charges against the former director of the state aluminum plant -- now called Talco -- and the owner of another Tajik company have been dropped.

The announcement formally ends a three-year London court case against Talco's former Director Abduqodir Ermatov and Ansol owner Avaz Nazarov -- whose company was the main supplier of the plant's smelter for eight years -- that cost some $130 million.

Ermatov and Nazarov were accused of stealing some $450 million from Talco.

Talco is overseen by Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, who sacked Ermatov and Nazarov in 2004.

Talco is Tajikistan's greatest industrial asset and is the largest aluminum plant in Central Asia.