07 August 2007, 17:17
Trial of former Guantanamo inmates suspected for Islamist activities in Uzbekistan has begun in Tajikistan
Dushanbe, August 7, Interfax - The Supreme Court of Tajikistan has launched hearings of a case of two Tajik nationals that the U.S. authorities recently released from the prison at Guantanamo, judge Musammir Urakov presiding at the trial told the press on Tuesday.
Mukit Vokhidov and Rukhniddin Sharopov are charged with involvement in hostilities as mercenaries and the violent and illegal crossing of the border, he said.
Urakov said that they had been deported to Tajikistan at the beginning of 2006 after the U.S. authorities established that they had not been involved in international terrorist organizations "even though according to the prosecution the defendants had belonged to an Afghan division of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan."
Vokhidov and Sharopov may be sentenced to prison terms of up to 20 yeas.
Tajikistan does not know the exact number of its nationals confined in Guantanamo. Nonetheless the Foreign Ministry says there are no more than 20 of them. Usually the Tajiks were arrested by U.S. forces in neighboring Afghanistan for suspected involvement in terrorist operations.
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