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New Probe Launched Against Jailed Tajik Businessman

Jailed Tajik businessman Zayd Saidov is facing new embezzlement charges.

Saidov's lawyer, Shukhrat Qudratov, told RFE/RL on May 30 that he had been informed by investigators that a probe has been launched into allegations that Saidov stole significant amounts of money allocated by the state several years ago for the construction of a mall in the capital, Dushanbe.

Saidov was sentenced to 26 years in jail in December after he was found guilty of financial fraud, polygamy, and sexual relations with a minor.

Saidov, the leader of the unregistered New Tajikistan opposition party, has denied the charges as politically motivated.

Saidov harshly criticized the government in April 2013 while presenting his party’s political program ahead of November's presidential election.

He was arrested in May 2013.