Isfara tycoon Nizomkhon Jourayev, who is still wanted by Tajik police, has reportedly appeared in Ukraine.

Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service, locally known as Radio Ozodi, reports Nizomkhon Jourayev has been detained in Borispol this month.  

Natalia Telichko, an official spokeswoman for the Ukrainian Prosecutor-General’s Office, told Radio Ozodi on January 20 that Jourayev was detained on January 11 but the Borispol court has rejected the temporary arrest request.  

Ms. Telichko confirmed that they had received request for detention and extradition of Nizomkhon Jourayev from Tajik colleagues.  

Meanwhile, the Tajik authorities have not yet commented on the appearance of Nizomkhon Jourayev in Ukraine.  

Recall, Nizomkhon Jourayev was a successful businessman who owned the chemical plant in the northern city of Isfara.  In 2007 investigations were launched into his financial activities, and later in 2008 he was officially accused of ordering assassination of former Deputy Prosecutor-General Tolib Boboyev in 1999.

Criminal proceedings have been instituted against Nizomkhon Jourayev under the provisions of eight articles of Tajikistan’s Penal Code: Article 104 – murder; Article 185 – organization of illegal armed formation; Article 186 – banditry; Article 195 – illegal storage of weapons; Article 245 – embezzlement or misappropriation; Article 262 – money laundering; Article 292 – tax evasion; and Article 340 – document forgery.  Nizomkhon Jourayev left the country before his arrest warrant was issued.

On June 9, 2009, the Supreme Court of Tajikistan sentenced 31 associates of Nizomkhon Jourayev to long jail terms.  They were sentenced to prison terms between 11 and 25 years, while a prosecutor in the trial of them asked for shorter terms for them.

According to Tajik law enforcement authorities, Nizomkhon Jourayev and his two brothers, Fakhriddin and Tolib, were involved in organizing the assassination of former Deputy Prosecutor-General Tolib Boboyev in 1999.

Jourayev and his associates were also charged with setting up an organized criminal group, tax evasion, and a number of financial crimes.

Moscow police detained Nizomkhon Jourayev on August 27, 2010 on Tajik warrant and earlier 2012 he resurfaced in Tajikistan under unexplained circumstances and told state media that he had come back to face justice at home.

In a statement released on April 3, 2012, an international human rights organization, Amnesty International (AI) noted that Nizomkhon Jourayev was released from a Russian detention facility on March 29, 2012.  “He has not been seen since.  He is a citizen of Tajikistan, and there are fears that he has been abducted by Tajikistani security services with the intent of forcibly returning him to Tajikistan.  If returned to Tajikistan, he is at risk of torture, ill-treatment and an unfair trial,” the statement said.

Nizomkhon Jourayev was shown on Tajik national TV channel Jahonnamo on April 8, 2012.  He said that he returned to Tajikistan voluntarily.

Nizomkhon Jourayev’s lawyer, Ms. Anna Stavitskaya, however, did not believe that her client had returned to Tajikistan voluntarily.  “He could not do this voluntarily.  It is absolutely obvious that they abducted him and made him say what he said.  I consider that the Tajik authorities abducted him with the aid of the Russian authorities,” Ms. Stavitskaya said on April 9, 2012.

Jourayev then testified as a key witness in several high-profile trials against former Ministry of Industry Zayd Saidov, former Supreme Court judges, and other officials.  Jourayev had been asked not to leave Dushanbe before his trial.

Nizomkhon Jourayev was subpoenaed on June 16, 2014, but did not appear for his trial on June 18, 2014.    

Ilyos Idriszoda, the deputy head of the Agency for State Financial Control and Combating Corruption, told reporters in Dushanbe on July 28, 2017 that an investigation into case of Nizomkhon Jourayev has been postponed.  “A part of the criminal case of Nizomkhon Jourayev has already moved to a court, while investigation in another part of his criminal case has been postponed since he fled the country in late June of 2014,” Idriszoda noted.