DUSHANBE , January 30, Asia-Plus - The trial of Ghaffor Mirzoyev, former commander of Tajikistan ’s Presidential Guards and former head of the country’s Drug Control Agency (DCA), is continuing behind closed doors at the Security Ministry-run pretrial detention facility. 

Abduqayum Yusufov, defense lawyer of Ghaffor Mirzoyev, claims that procedural violations have been made during the trial.  According to Mr. Yusufov, his client does not trust judges considering his case, and since January 11, when the trial started, they have lodged a series of applications rejecting the court composition, including the prosecution – Tajikistan ’s Chief Military Prosecutor Yusuf Rahmonov.  “Yusuf Rahmonov was head of the investigation team and therefore he is interested in the trial’s result,” Mr. Yusufov said, noting that the court has refused their applications.  Following this direction Ghaffor Mirzoyev has applied for rejecting the whole composition of the court, including judge Zafar Azizov, who takes on the trial, “because did not consider the application objectively," according to Abduqayum Yusufov   

  “Besides, the court has made gross procedural violations,” said Yusufov, “When the proceedings started, some documents were not read in an appropriate order, which is considered procedural violation, and during the trial it has become clear that all our appeals will be refused,” said Mirzoyev’s lawyer, “We have made certain once again that judicial system in Tajikistan is not independent.” 

The lawyer also noted that the court has questioned his client since January 26. He noted once again that Ghaffor Mirzoyev maintained his innocence.     

Tajikistan ’s Chief Military Prosecutor, Yusuf Rahmonov, acts a prosecutor in the Mirzoyev’s trial.  Ahmadjon Sharipov, Aide to the General-Prosecutor, and Jamshed Abdumajidov, Aide to the Tajik Military Prosecutor, are also representing the prosecution in the trial. 

Together with Ghaffor Mirzoyev, 15 other people are also in the dock, and 18 lawyers are representing them in the lawsuit.  

  Ghaffor Mirzoyev, who was arrested on August 6, 2004 , faces 34 charges that include embezzlement and attempting to mount a coup.