TASHKENT -- A court in Tashkent has found the Uzbek capital's mayor, Jahongir Ortiqhojaev, guilty of breaking the law over decisions to hand city land to a company affiliated with the president's son-in-law.
The Chilonzor district court on January 27 ruled that two decisions made in 2018 and 2019 by Ortiqhojaev were unlawful.
According to the 2018 decision, more than 6 hectares of land in Yunusobod, one of Tashkent's most expensive districts with some 100 private businesses based there, was to be placed in the city's land reserve.
Then, on the last day of 2019, Ortiqhojaev issued another order giving that land to the Urban Developers construction company.
Business owners and entrepreneurs in Yunusobod filed a lawsuit against the decisions, saying the plan to develop the area would harm their businesses and that several regulations and laws had been violated since the land, worth at least $11.5 million, was placed under the control of Urban Developers.
Urban Developers, which planned to develop a trade and entertainment complex in the Yunusobod district, appeared to be associated with Oibek Tursunov, the husband of President Shavkat Mirziyoev's elder daughter, Saida. The company was established a month before the mayor's 2019 decision was announced.
Ansor Naberaev, officially listed as the owner of Urban Developers, has rejected any connection with Tursunov. He was not immediately available for comment on the court's January 27 ruling.
According to official registration and tax documents, 97 percent of Urban Developers' shares are owned by a company called Odoratus Business LLP, which is registered in the United Kingdom and operated by B2B Consultants Limited in the Central American country of Belize.
The company's assets are officially shown as having a value of 100 pounds ($130).
According to the documents, obtained by RFE/RL, Odoratus Business also co-owns shares of several other companies in Uzbekistan, including more than 60 percent of shares of the Milk House company, which is co-owned by the Pro Milk Technology company.
More than 95 percent of Pro Milk Technology's shares are controlled by Promadik Invest, which is owned by Tursunov.