DUSHANBE, March 27, Asia-Plus  -- The 44-year-old former customs officer Ali Beknazarov, who was better known as Ali the Pont (Ali the Show), died in pretrial detention facility in Istaravshan, Sughd province under mysterious circumstances. 

We will recall that Ali Beknazarov and his brother Jabbor Beknazarov were detained on December 1, 2007 on suspicion of having killed the former deputy Tajik chief prosecutor, Tolib Boboyev.  Boboyev was found dead in his apartment in the Sughd city of Chkalovsk on January 3, 1999.  

Speaking in an interview with Asia-Plus, Ali Beknazarov’s wife Zarrina Saidova said that the Istaravshan pretrial detention facility authorities claimed that Ali Beknazarov had allegedly committed suicide by self-hanging, “but his relatives do not believe in this and have rejected this version.”   

            She said that for the first time, her husband was detained on suspicion of having participated in murder of Tolib Boboyev in January 1999.  “But investigators failed to produce evidences to support my husband’s guilt and he was released,” said Ms. Saidova.  “But on December 1, 2007, he and his brother Jabbor were detained again.”   

            “He might not make suicide because he was sure that they will not prove his guilt and he will be released,” said Zarrina Saidova, “His trial was supposed to begin in a month.  Most likely, he was killed.”   

            According to her, Ali Beknazarov was one of activists of the pro-government Popular Front in the middle of the 1990s and participated in operations against the mutinous Colonel Mahmoud Khudoiberdiyev.    

Over the past fifteen years, Ali Beknazarov had served with the Sughd customs service.  His relatives are also seriously concerned over fate of his brother Jabbor; they have not seen him since December 1, 1999, when Ali and Jabbor were arrested.