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Tajik Official Says 'Most' Inmates Bribed Way To Amnesty

Tajik Anticorruption Agency head Fattoh Saidov
Tajik Anticorruption Agency head Fattoh Saidov
A Tajik official has claimed that many prisoners convicted of drug offenses paid bribes in order to be released in a recent amnesty, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Fattoh Saidov, the head of Tajikistan's Anticorruption Agency, said in Dushanbe that two regional prosecutors and a judge were recently arrested on suspicion of involvement in a scheme to collect bribes from prisoners seeking to be released in the November amnesty.

He said the majority of prisoners released under that act of clemency paid bribes.

Overall, more than 5,000 convicts were either released or had their prison terms reduced.

The Tajik Anticorruption Agency was founded three years at the request of international financial institutions.

Its officers are constantly at odds with the General-Prosecutor's Office over jurisdiction and the arrest of people on corruption charges.