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Corruption Trial Nears End For Ex-Officials From Tajikistan's Anticorruption Agency

DUSHANBE -- The corruption trial of six former officials from Tajikistan’s State Anticorruption Agency was nearing an end on September 12 with the defendants making their closing remarks.

It was not immediately clear when the court would reach a verdict in the case against Firuz Holmurodzoda, the former head of the agency’s Investigative Directorate, and five of his former subordinates.

The trial is closed to the public and neither the prosecution nor defense lawyers would comment to journalists about the case.

But relatives of the defendants told RFE/RL on September 12 that prosecutors had asked the court to sentence Holmurodzoda to 17 years in prison and his five co-defendants to prison terms ranging from seven to 15 years.

On July 27, in another corruption trial, Tajikistan’s Supreme Court issued 10 ½ year sentences to the agency’s former deputy director, Davlatbek Hairzoda, and the former deputy chief of the Customs Service in Sughd Province, Faridun Benazirzoda.

Authorities launched a crackdown in April against officials and former officials of the Anticorruption Agency and the Customs Service.

Officials have not disclosed any details of their investigations.