DUSHANBE, November 7, Asia-Plus  -- An imprisoned director general of the State Unitary Enterprise Legkopromcontract, 54-year-old Rahmatullo Turmanov, has gone on hunger strike, “protesting arbitrary of investigation bodies,” Turmanov’s defense lawyer, Solijon Jurayev, said in an interview with Asia-Plus Monday afternoon.

Rahmatullo Turmanov has been held in Dushanbe pretrial detention facility # 1.  Turmanov was arrested by officers from the Agency for State Financial Control and Combating Corruption on July 2 this year on suspicion of having embezzled state funds and evading tax payments.  

In the meantime, Turmanov maintains innocence and his defense lawyer said that investigation had not yet produced proofs to support the charges Turmanov faces.  

“We have evidences of groundlessness of charges and arbitrary of investigators,” said the lawyer, “We have sent a letter on this subject to the Dushanbe chief prosecutor Qurbonali Muhabbatov and the anticorruption agency chief Sherkhon Salimov; however, we have not yet received replay to our appeal.” 

According to Jurayev, his client has been on hunger strike for a week.  “Turmanov suffers from liver cirrhosis, chronic pancreatitis and  high blood pressure, and the hunger strike may deteriorate his health condition even more,” said the lawyer. 

Meanwhile, Qurbonali Davlatov, an investigator with the anticorruption agency, who is conducting Turmanov’s case, said in an interview with Asia-Plus that he has not been aware of Turmanov’s declaring the hunger strike.  “As far as charges brought against Turmanov are concerned, they are absolutely founded,” Davlatov said, refraining from giving further details of the case.