An information-technology (IT) specialist at a court in Uzbekistan says a senior judge -- angry about a computer problem -- kicked him in the testicles so hard that he remains hospitalized five days later.
Dilorod Norov, a 31-year-old computer specialist at the Navoiy Regional Administrative Court, is demanding that the court's chairman, Otabek Toshev, face justice for what he describes as a brutal and humiliating assault.
Norov told RFE/RL he was working at the regional court in Uzbekistan's southwestern city of Navoiy on February 15 when Toshev went into a computer-rage meltdown and attacked him in front of his colleagues.
"I was unable to implement some of the orders the judge had given me," Norov said. "He flew into a rage and threw a remote control at me. Then he charged at me angrily, punching me with his right fist and then kicking me in the gonads."
"I collapsed to the ground. It felt like flames shot out from my eyes," Norov told RFE/RL. "It was so painful."
"It's embarrassing to talk about it, but my testicles are so swollen that I can't walk," Norov said from his hospital bed. "I still have difficulties when I try to urinate."
Multiple attempts by RFE/RL to reach Toshev have been unsuccessful, as the judge has refrained from answering his telephone and has not responded to RFE/RL's interview requests. Toshev's office also would not comment on the case.
Will Judge Thwart Justice?
The Prosecutor-General's Office in Tashkent confirmed to RFE/RL that the Navoiy city prosecutor has launched a "pretrial investigation" into the criminal-assault allegations against the 44-year-old Toshev.
"A forensic examination has been ordered and is being carried out," the Prosecutor-General's Office said in a statement. "The results of the medical examination will be announced."
But Norov's relatives say they are concerned about whether justice will be served in an assault case where the defendant is a powerful regional judge.
Norov's oldest brother, Sherzod Norov, told RFE/RL he thought Toshev was "doing everything he can to suppress the case."
"Doctors have told us that everything will be fine, but when we ask for their formal medical report about the examinations and treatment, they won't show it to us or give us a copy," he said.
"We need those medical papers for this case. But where are the results of the examinations, whatever they are, and what are the expert conclusions? They won't show us," he said.
RFE/RL spoke to a doctor at Navoiy Regional Hospital who confirmed he was treating Norov. But the doctor, who refused to identify himself over fears of losing his job, would not discuss details of the case or whether Toshev was pressuring hospital staff to suppress evidence.
Sherzod Norov said both Toshev and his wife had visited Norov's family home twice since the alleged attack, "weeping and asking for forgiveness."
But Dilorod Norov, speaking from his hospital bed, told RFE/RL he did not intend to drop his case against Toshev or forgive the judge.
"He attacked me once before after I had started working for the court last September," Norov said. "Enough is enough. I just hope that the court will make a fair ruling in this case."