KULOB, August 12, Asia-Plus -- On Friday August 11, a court in Kulob began consideration of criminal proceedings instituted against Mr. Shamsiddin Zaripov, the head of farming unit “Shams” in the Vose district.  

According to information from the Kulob prosecutor office, Mr. Zaripov faces charges under four articled of Tajikistan’s Criminal Code: Article 135 (libel); Article 137 (publicly insulting the President of Tajikistan or slander addressed to him); Article 330 (insulting representatives of power); and Article 340 (document forgery).  

According to the source, if convicted, Shamsiddin Zaripov could face from 9 to 17 years in prison on these charges.  

The Asia-Plus interlocutor claims that during several years Shamsiddin Zaripov was writing insulting and libelous letters to different instances.  “Besides, 25 people were registered as working with his farming unit, while these people were not aware of this,” said the source, “Shamsiddin Zaripov hired farm-laborers from other places for working on 52 hectares of farmland.”  A part of debts of the former collective farm has gone over to his farming unit, but he has evaded repayment of this debt, according to the source.  

According to unofficial information, representatives from the organization of Tajikistan’s Social Party (SPT) for Sughd has arrived in Kulob attend the trial of Zaripov’s case.