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Another Uzbek Official With Ties To Karimova Case Dismissed

Gulnara Karimova has been under house arrest for several months.

TASHKENT -- A number of Uzbek officials who played a role in the downfall of the president's daughter Gulnara Karimova have themselves fallen from grace.

On May 11, RFE/RL learned that Uzbekistan's top security official responsible for investigations against Karimova has been removed as first deputy of the National Security Service (NSS).

An official from the service, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said 52-year-old General Hayot Sharifhojaev will now be a lecturer at the NSS school in Tashkent.

The reassignment would make Sharifhojaev the third official with ties to Karimova's corruption investigation to face punishment.

It is unclear whether the moves against them are in any way related to the Karimova case. But the security service source said that Sharifhojaev and the other two officials -- all of whom are related -- were selling properties confiscated from suspects in different cases, including Karimova and her associates.

Karimova, once considered a potential successor to her father, President Islam Karimov, was embroiled in a corruption scandal that led to the dismantling of her business empire in 2014. She has since been under house arrest and continues to be investigated for corruption and other charges.

Sharifhojaev's dismissal comes days after his nephew, Jahangir Ghulomov, 43, was charged with corruption. Ghulomov was responsible for confiscating Karimova's assets in his capacity as chief of the Justice Ministry department tasked with implementing court decisions.

Ghulomov was detained in Kazakhstan and extradited to Uzbekistan in April, according to sources within the Justice Ministry and Prosecutor-General's Office. It is not known precisely what the charges against Ghulomov pertain to.

Several months ago, Hayot Sharifhojaev's brother, Javdat Sharifhojaev, a former senior officer with the NSS, was found guilty of corruption and abuse of power and sentenced to four years in prison.

The 2013 investigation into Karimova's business activities led to the closure of her media empire in Uzbekistan, including several television channels, and the seizure of Tashkent boutiques believed to belong to her or her business partners.

In July 2014, Uzbek authorities handed down prison terms to several alleged associates of Karimova after finding them guilty of financial crimes.

Last month, Uzbek Prosecutor-General Rashid Qodirov was sacked for undisclosed reasons.