Seven additional years have been added to a 14-year jail term of a former field commander of the pro-government Popular Front, Khouja Karimov, better known as Commander Khouja.  He is notorious for reported cruelty during the civil conflict.

Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service, known locally as Radio Ozodi, says new charges have been brought against Khouja Karimov after more than 15 additional have accused him of hostage taking, banditry and murders. 

Additional seven years were added to his jail term at a trial that was launched on February 4 and completed on February 16. 

Now Khouja Karimov will spent twenty-one years behind bars. 

Citing a source within the Prosecutor-General’s Office, Radio Ozodi reported on February 4 that a prosecutor sent a new criminal case to the Supreme Court asking to sentence Khouja Karimov to an additional 30-year prison term.

Khouja Karimov was sentenced to 14 years in prison in March last year.  The sentence followed his conviction on charges of banditry, murders, hostage taking, tortures, and illegal possession of weapons. 

All these crimes were reported committed during a civil war in the country (1992-1997), when Khouja Karimov was on of influential field commanders of the pro-government Popular Front.   

After the war, Khouja Karimov was a deputy commander of a special brigade at the Defense Ministry.  In the late 1990s, he was president of Tajikistan’s Football Federation and member of parliament.

The investigation into the charges brought against Khouja Karimov in the mid-1990s has reportedly established that he was involved in a murder attempt committed in the Khuroson district of the Khatlon province in 1992.

A statement released by the Interior Ministry press center says that a 62-year-old local resident was shot in the building of School No 20, where the headquarters of the Popular Front for the Khuroson district was located.

“The wounded man received medical assistance on the spot and survived,” says the statement.

The Interior Ministry press center does not give the name of the suspect, but a source within the law enforcement authorities has confirmed that it is about Khouja Karimov.

Criminal proceedings have reportedly been instituted against the suspect under the provisions of Article 104 of Tajikistan’s Pena Code – murder.

In November 1998, Karimov was arrested on charge of organizing killing of MPs S. Shoe and T, Shukurov and taken to police custody, but later, he was released.

Karimov fled Tajikistan for Malaysia after Tajik authorities launched criminal charges against him in September 2005.  He regularly came on business to the United Arab Emirate (UAE).

In July 2019, Karimov was arrested in the UAE at the request of Tajikistan and in February 2020 he was extradited to Tajikistan where he faced charges of murder, robbery, kidnapping, and other crimes.