DUSHANBE, September 28, Asia-Plus - Abduqayum Yusufov, defense lawyer for the former commander of the presidential guards and former drug control chief of Tajikistan Ghaffor Mirzoyev, said he has not yet received a copy of the court’s ruling against his client.  

“Because of this we cannot appeal the court’s decision,” Yusufov.

“Since we have not yet received the ruling’s copy, Mirzoyev is still under authority of the court,” the lawyer stressed.

 According to him, Oisha Mirzoyeva, the sister of Mirzoyev, has not been allowed meeting with her brother.  “At first the penal system department allowed the meeting and it was set for September 16, but then they refused, pleading absence of the department chief,” Yusufov said. 

In the meantime, a source in the penal system department of the Ministry of Justice said that since Mirzoyev is still under authority of the court the department does not have right to permit him meeting with his lawyers and relatives.   

The Supreme Court of Tajikistan sentenced Mirzoyev to life imprisonment on August 11, after his conviction of planning a coup, tax evasion, illegally crossing the border and abuse of office.  Fifteen military officers have already received sentences ranging from five to 16 years for their role in the alleged coup plot in January 2004.

Yusufov said his client did not plead guilty to any of the charges, which included sedition and murder, and will appeal the court''s decision. 

Mirzoyev commanded the presidential guard between 1995 until his dismissal in January, 2004. He was also the head of the country''s drug control agency.  He was arrested on August 6, 2004.

Mirzoyev remains in the pretrial detention facility of the Ministry of Justice.