DUSHANBE, August 7, Asia-Plus — The trial of Mukit Vohidov and Ruhniddin Sharopov, residents of the northern district of Isfara and former inmates at the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo, Cuba, began in the Supreme Court today.

Proceedings started with the reading of the indictment, which charges them with illegally crossing the border and participating as mercenaries in the armed conflict.  

Musammir Uroqov, a judge with the Supreme Court, told Asia-Plus that Vohidov and Sharopov illegally crossed the Tajik-Afghan border in early 2001 and joined the armed group of one of leaders of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) Juma Namangani.  “In November 2001, they were detained by militants of Afghan General Adbulrashid Dustum and handed over to the U.S. servicemen and later, they were sent to Guantanamo,” the judge said.  

According to Uroqov, they were released from the Guantanamo detention facility because they had not perpetrated any illegal actions against the U.S. or Afghan authorities and were returned to Tajikistan.  

It is to be noted that it is already the second case when former Guantanamo inmates stand trail in Tajikistan.    

We will recall that a court in the Khatlon province in March this year sentenced Ibrohim Nasriddinov, a former Guantanamo inmate, to 23 years in prison on murder and weapons charges.  The court found that Nasriddinov was a member of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.  Odil Yorbekov, Nasriddinov''s defense lawyer, said that his client pleaded guilty to all charges. According to him, his client committed a contract murder using a handmade explosive device in Danghara in 2000, and in order to escape punishment fled to Afghanistan and joined terrorists. He underwent military training in Afghanistan and Pakistan for several years. In 2006, he was detained in Kunduz by U.S. Special Forces and sent to Guantanamo."