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Sweden Jails Man For Life For Shooting Uzbek Imam

Obidkhon Qori Nazarov was one of the most popular imams in Central Asia in the early 1990s.

An appeals court in the Swedish town of Sundsval has sentenced an Uzbek citizen to life in prison, increasing his initial sentence of 18 years for an assassination attempt on an imam.

The ruling was officially announced on March 1.

In December, a Swedish court found Yury Zhukovsky, 37, guilty of carrying out an attack on prominent Uzbek Imam Obidkhon Qori Nazarov in 2012.

Nazarov, who is a critic of the government of Uzbek President Islam Karimov, was in a coma for two years after being shot at least three times in the northern Swedish town of Stromsund.

His relatives said Nazarov suffers from brain damage.

Obid Nazarov's son, Doudkhon Nazarov, told RFE/RL's Uzbek Service that he is satisfied with the appeals court's decision. He also called on Swedish authorities to continue the investigation to show that the attempt on Nazarov's life was ordered by the Uzbek government.

Zhukovsky was extradited to Sweden from Russia on August 25 to stand trial in the case.

Nazarov, who was one of the most popular imams in Central Asia in the early 1990s, was granted asylum in Sweden in 2006. He had fled Uzbekistan in 1998.