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Soviet-Era Corruption-Case Protagonist Dies In Uzbekistan


Ahmadjon Odilov was indicted for embezzlement during a major anticorruption campaign launched during Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika reforms in the late 1980s.

TASHKENT -- Ahmadjon Odilov, one of the high-profile protagonists in a Soviet-era anticorruption campaign, has died at the age of 92.

Sources in Odilov's native Namangan region in eastern Uzbekistan told RFE/RL that Odilov died on September 26.

Journalist Sharof Ubaidullaev told RFE/RL that Odilov would be buried on September 27.

Odilov, known to the public in the former Soviet Union as Adylov, was a member of both the Soviet Uzbek assembly and the Supreme Soviet between 1974 and 1984.

He was indicted for embezzlement during a major anticorruption campaign launched during Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika reforms in the late 1980s.

Some 800 probes against officials in Uzbekistan and Russia were opened during the campaign, known as "the Uzbek Case," which led to the imprisonment of more than 4,000 people, including former Soviet First Deputy Interior Minister Yury Churbanov, who was the late Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev's son-in-law.

Odilov, who was awaiting trial in a detention center when the Soviet Union collapsed in December 1991, was released from custody but ordered not to leave Uzbekistan.

He was exonerated in 1992, but rearrested a year later and sentenced to four years in prison for embezzlement.

Odilov's prison term was prolonged several times on separate charges. He was eventually released from jail in June 2008 at the age of 83.

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