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U.S. Seeks To Block Release Of Uzbek Man Charged With Supporting Terrorists

Uzbek immigrant and terrorism suspect Jamshid Muhtorov with his family

U.S. prosecutors have sought to block release of an Uzbek man held for more than five years in the United States while awaiting trial on charges of providing support to an extremist Islamist group.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Denver on June 27 asked a U.S. appeals court to halt the release of Jamshid Muhtorov four days after a lower court approved his release pending trial, which begins next year.

Muhtorov, 40, argued that repeated delays in the case violated his right to a speedy trial, but prosecutors said he posed a flight risk.

Muhtorov is accused of trying to smuggle smartphones and other electronic equipment to the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), a Pakistan-based extremist group that opposes secular rule in Uzbekistan and seeks to install a government based on Islamic law.

He is not a U.S. citizen but has legal immigration status as a political refugee from Uzbekistan and lived in the Denver area.

He was arrested in January 2012. A U.S. district court ruled last week that he already has spent as much time in jail as he is likely to face if he's found guilty on all charges.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and Denver Post