Tue, 31 Mar 2020

A military court in Uzbekistan has sentenced former General Prosecutor Otabek Murodov to five years of limited freedom on corruption charges.

The ruling concludes the latest in a string of trials of disgraced officials charged with committing the very graft they were supposed to be combating.

The Supreme Court said in a statement on February 25 that another ex-General Prosecutor and the one-time head of the security services, Ikhtiyor Abdullayev, who had preceded Murodov in the job, had his own 18-year bribery conviction, handed down in September, extended to 19 years.

More than 70 alleged victims were heard during Murodov's trial, which took place behind closed doors, the Supreme Court said in its statement.

The discrepancy between the sentences handed to Murodov and Abdullayev appear to stem from the scale of corruption and the varying levels of cooperation offered by the defendants.

"Murodov expressed sincere regret for his crimes and actively assisted the investigation, and he provided compensation for all the damage that he had caused," the court's statement said.

Murodov was the third General Prosecutor in the space of just two years to become target of criminal investigations. In addition to him and Abdullayev, there was also Rashid Kadyrov, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison in June 2019. He had been in the job for 15 years, running up to 2015. Prosecutors said that he had conspired with other high-ranking officials to extort bribes, impede criminal investigations and launder illegal earned money.

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