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Tajik Opposition Figure Accused Of Theft, Polygamy

Former Tajik Industry Minister Zaid Saidov
DUSHANBE -- Authorities in Tajikistan have opened two criminal cases against a former industry minister who recently announced he would create an opposition political party.

Prosecutors have accused Zaid Saidov of theft and polygamy.

The Tajik Anticorruption Agency says Toj Sokhtmon International -- a firm partly owned by Saidov -- forged documents and stole about $400,000 from Dushanbe municipal funds while constructing the city’s tallest tower, the 20-storey Dushanbe Plaza.

Meanwhile, on May 11, prosecutors searched Saidov’s home and questioned his sons over polygamy allegations.

Saidov and several Tajik businessmen and academics announced in April that they were creating a “New Tajikistan” party.

Saidov says the allegations are part of growing pressure against him by authorities since he announced his political intentions.