DUSHANBE, May 31, Asia-Plus - 15 persons placed in the dock together with former Tajik drug control chief Ghaffor Mirzoyev have sent an open letter to Tajik Prosecutor-General’s Office with solicitation to institute criminal proceedings against of a group of investigators who investigated into their case, Ghaffor Mirzoyev’s lawyer Abduqayum Yusufov said.   

In the letter, all the defendants, except Ghaffor Mirzoyev, claim that their confessions to participation in some crimes were extracted under duress.  Besides, they draw attention of the Prosecutor-General’s Office to the fact that when they were familiarizing themselves with case materials they had found forged documents, according to Mr. Yusufov.  Mirzoyev’s defense lawyer has refrained from giving further details of this statement.  

Another defense lawyer representing defendants Buzugmehr Yorov has told Asia-Plus that the defendants applied to the court last week asking to summon the investigators to court.  “However, except the head of the investigation department with the Tajik Military Prosecutor’s Office Manouchehr Nurov, the other investigators have not appeared before the court,” Mr. Yorov said.  

As it had been reported earlier, the trial of Ghaffor Mirzoyev, former commander of Tajikistan ’s President Guards and former head of the country’s Drug Control Agency (DCA) began behind closed doors in Dushanbe in January this year.  Ghaffor Mirzoyev who was jailed in August 2004 is charged with violating 34 articles of the Criminal Code, including embezzlement, abuse of office, murder, etc.  Ghaffor Mirzoyev maintains his innocence.  Abduqayum Yusufov, a lawyer representing Mirzoyev, said that his client had previously admitted partial guilt on corruption charges only because he had not had an opportunity to review his case.