Five of fourteen accused of kidnapping and killing Orienbonk deputy head have been sentenced to life in prison.   

Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service, known locally as Radio Ozodi, reported on March 18 that five accused of kidnapping and killing Shuhrat Ismatulloyev, the first deputy head of Orienbonk, namely Dilshod Saidmurodov, Qamaruzzamon Azizov, Akbar Ahmadov, Bahkhtovar Safarov and Shohrukh Khojayev, have been sentenced to life imprisonment.   

Properties of some of them, including Dilshod Saidmurodov, will be confiscated.

The other nine defendants have reportedly been sentenced to various jail terms ranging from one to eight years. 

Radio Ozodi says a verdict was declared on March 18. 

Recall, the trial of 14 people accused of kidnapping and killing Shuhrat Ismatulloyev started in a temporary detention center in Dushanbe behind closed doors in early January this year. 

A case of Dilshod Saidmurodov, suspected of organizing and killing Shuhrat Ismatulloyev, and 13 other people, suspected of being involved in that crime, moved to the Supreme Court on November 18, 2023.

The suspected organizer of kidnapping and killing of Shuhrat Ismatulloyev, Dilshod Saidmurodov, who is better known as “Dilshod S.B.” was detained in Russia and extradited to Tajikistan in early July last year.

Tajik authorities have said that Dilshod Saidmurodov was the leader of the criminal group that abducted and killed Shuhrat Ismatulloyev.

After committing the crime he reportedly fled to the Russian Federation.

Saidmurodov previously worked in law enforcement agencies.  His employment records include working for the Interior Ministry’s Organized Crime Control Directorate and a stint with the Anti-Cybercrime Unit within the General-Prosecutor’s Office.  According to some sources, Saidmurodov had also worked for the state anticorruption agency but had been unemployed in recent years.

Shuhrat Ismatulloyev, 49, went missing in the evening of June 23, 2023 near his home in Dushanbe.

Tajik authorities said the banker was forced by four men into a car with tinted windows and driven away at around 8 p.m. local time.

The Interior Ministry offered a US$30,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the kidnappers.

Two weeks later, the Tajik Prosecutor-General’s Office claimed Ismatulloyev had been killed by his abductors several hours after he was kidnapped.

It said in a July 7 statement that Ismatulloyev was taken to a house in the village of Shodob, outside Dushanbe, where he was beaten, tortured, and subsequently killed by his kidnappers.  The banker’s body and the car were thrown into the Zarafshon River, it added.

The crime was allegedly plotted by a 40-year-old Dilshod Saidmurodov, who set up a 10-man “armed criminal group” to carry it out.

The banker’s body was found in the Zarafshon River two months later, on August 15.