A prosecutor in the trial of former Mayor of Kulob Bahrom Inoyatzoda asked the Khatlon regional court on November 12 to sentence Inoyatzoda to a 14-year prison term.

The prosecutor also asked prison terms of between seven and nine years for other defendants, Izatullo Tabarzoda, deputy head of the Khatlon regional court, told Asia-Plus in an interview.

According to him, the prosecutor asked the court to sentence Inoyatozoda’s personal driver Khursandali Khurramov and chief specialist with the Kulob town-planning department Firouz Qurbonov to nine years in prison each and supply manager of the Kulob mayor’s office Khurshed Ashourmadov to seven years in prison.

“As far as shipping agent Muhammadi Shamsididnov is concerned, the prosecutor asked the court to impose a fine on him,” Tabarzoda said.

A verdict is expected next week. 

Recall, the trail began on October 6 and four new defendants have appeared in criminal proceedings instituted against Inoyatzoda.  They are Inoyatzoda’s personal driver Khursandali Khurramov, chief specialist with the Kulob town-planning department Firouz Qurbonov, supply manager of the Kulob mayor’s office Khurshed Ashourmadov and shipping agent Muhammadi Shamsididnov.  They are reportedly charged with complicity in fraud and document forgery.

Ex-Mayor of Kulob Bahrom Inoyatzoda has been arrested on corruption charges.  The State Committee for National Security (SCNS) said Bahrom Inoyatzoda was arrested on June 8, while Khursandali Khurramov and Firouz Qurbonov were arrested days earlier (June 3).

"Preliminary investigations revealed that Khurramov and Qurbonov committed crimes of corruption on the orders of the Mayor of Kulob," a statement released by SCNS said. It didn't give any further details on which crimes the three men are suspected of committing.

Meanwhile a source within the Kulob city court says Bahrom Inoyatzoda is charged with embezzlement of funds (Article 245 (2) of Tajikistan’s Penal Code), fraud (Article 247), abuse of power (Article 314 (2), large-scale bribery (Article 319 (4), illegal allocation of land (Article 338’ (2), and legalization (laundering) of proceeds of crime (Article 262).  

If Inoyatzoda is found guilty under all these articles, he will face up to 20 years in prison.  

Ex-mayor’s relatives say Inoyatzoda pleaded not guilty to any of the charges brought against him. 

Residents of Kulob have perceived the information about the arrest of Bahrom Inoyatzoda differently.

Some of them say that he had been arrested rightly, while others said that the mayor was not guilty of the charges brought against him.   

Some of residents of Kulob say that Inoyatzoda’s public statement to the head of the communications service agency Beg Sabourov during a news conference in February this year could be the reason for removal of him from office.  The previous mayors of Kulob had reportedly tried to avoid issues concerning Beg Sabourov’s companies. 

However, not all Kulabis shares this opinion.  Some of them said that Bahrom Inoyatzoda had been arrested rightly.

In Tajikistan, mayors are appointed by President Emomali Rahmon, and their arrests are very rare.

Inoyatzoda, who held different state positions for many years, was appointed to the post of Kulob mayor in May last year.  Prior to this, he had served as mayor of the northern city of Istaravshan since 2017.  From 2014 to 2017, Inoyatzoda served as deputy governor of the Khatlon province.  From 2008 to 2014, he served as the head of the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning at the Committee for Architecture and Construction under the Government of Tajikistan.

Bahrom Inoyatzoda was born in the city of Kulob in 1960.  He graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at the Tajik Polytechnic Institute (currently Tajik Technical University) in 1983.  

Inoyatzoda is married with four children.  In 2012, he was awarded the medal “Khizmati Shoista” (For Worthy Merits).