Tajik drug agency chief deposed

The Tajik prosecutor general's office has issued a warrant for the arrest of the chief of the republic's drug control agency.

    The anti-drug chief was a top commander during the civil war

    Prosecutor general Bobodzhon Bobokhonov said on Monday Gaffor Mirzoyev was accused of nine crimes and that more charges may follow.

    Allegations include the illegal possession of weapons, abuse of power, tax evasion and murder. If convicted on all charges, Mirzoyev faces up to 25 years in prison.

    The arrest comes as President Imomali Rahmonov prepares for parliamentary elections in early 2005, to be followed by presidential elections.

    According to the Tajik Avesta news agency, government security forces have gone on to high alert and are closely monitoring all traffic entering and leaving the capital Dushanbe.

    Fall from power

    Mirzoyev was a top field commander for the Popular Front during Tajikistan’s 1992-97 civil war and helped to install Rahmonov in power.
     
    But over the past six years, Rahmonov has succeeded in removing most of his erstwhile allies from positions of authority.

    Prior to his arrest, he was among a handful of former pro-government commanders still in the top echelons of power.

    Mirzoyev’s political position had appeared tenuous since late January when Rahmonov removed him as head of the presidential guard and put him in charge of the Tajik Drug Control Agency three days later. 

    A major factor in his fall from power was his support for Dushanbe Mayor Mahmadsaid Ubaidullaev, the chairman of the upper house of the Tajik legislature and a potential rival to Rahmonov for the presidency.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.