DUSHANBE, March 17, Asia-Plus  -- “I have managed to familiarize myself with major part of case materials of my client and relaying of initial analysis of evidences and documents, I may express my onion.  Investigators were unable to produce direct evidence to support my client’s guilt; many things have remains unclear,” Sergey Mirzoyev, the Moscow defense lawyer Marouf Oripov, said in an interview with Asia-Plus

According to him, there are too many omissions, and there are no answers to many principles questions, in particular “what objective facts and events prove Oripov’s guilt on the tax evasion charge.”  “It will also be not easy to look into this case because Tajikistan’s legislation has developed dynamically over years and practice of application of tax laws is just forming,” the law said.  

Mirzoyev noted that it is not secret that there is practice of determination of taxes and tax receipt “targets.”  “It means that not tax laws work but official provide replenishment of the budget in “manual mode” rather than in tax administering mode,” the lawyer said.  

Mirzoyev has compared the trial to a mirror, “and it would be not bad thing for tax, economic and law enforcement officials to look at themselves in that “mirror.”  HE expressed hope that the trial will unbiased and legal.  

  The trial of Marouf Oripov, the director general of M&P, which owns a chain of supermarkets Orima in Dushanbe and Kulob, began in Tajikistan''s Supreme Court on March 13.  He faces charges of giving bribe, tax evasion and forgery.

At first, the State Committee for National Security (GKNB) instituted criminal proceedings against Oripov last summer on charge of giving bribe, but later, the case was transferred to the Agency for State Financial Control and Combating Corruption. 

Oripov was detained in July 2007 when he was trying to give $10,000 in bribe to the GKNB investigator.  Inspections carried out by the GKNB economic squad last July revealed that more than 1,500 tons of confectionery and other products beyond their shelf life were stored in the M&P warehouses in Dushanbe.