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Jailed Tajik General's Brother Sentenced

Ghaffor Mirzoev in 2004
Ghaffor Mirzoev in 2004
DUSHANBE -- A brother of Tajikistan's highly influential former presidential-guard commander has been sentenced to 30 years in prison after a closed trial, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

The Tajik Supreme Court confirmed the sentence against Abdurasul Mirzoev on July 20. It declined to disclose details of the trial, saying that some testimony would compromise state secrets.

Mirzoev is the brother of General Ghaffor Mirzoev, who also headed the Tajik Drug Control Agency. Ghaffor Mirzoev was once a close ally of President Emomali Rahmon and one of the most influential members of the government.

Ghaffor Mirzoev was arrested in August 2004 and sentenced in 2006 to life imprisonment on charges of planning an uprising against the government, murder, and other serious crimes. The government also confiscated nearly all of the businesses and property belonging to Ghaffor and Abdurasul Mirzoev.

At the request of Tajik authorities, Abdurasul Mirzoev was extradited to Tajikistan in January from the United Arab Emirates, where he had lived since before Ghaffor Mirzoev's arrest in 2004.

Abdurasul Mirzoev's lawyer, Saidjon Odinaev, said that when Gaffor Mirzoev was sentenced in 2006, Abdurasul was named as an accomplice in almost all his alleged crimes. Odinaev said that the guilty verdict on those charges now applies also to Abdurasul Mirzoev.

Odinaev added that at the request of the defense three charges -- including robbery and kidnapping -- were dropped from the final verdict.

Odinaev said the sentence on Abdurasul Mirzoev is harsh and they will appeal it as soon as possible.