DUSHANBE, July 13, 2015, Asia-Plus -- Nobody has applied to me over the early release of Yoqub Salimov in connection with his disease, Shermuhammad Shohiyon, the head of the Supreme Court of Tajikistan, told reporters in Dushanbe on July 13.

We will recall that the Prosecutor-General’s Office says Salimov’s jail term ends in December this year.

“Over the first six months of this year, the Supreme Court has convicted six citizens of Tajikistan of murder, which is six cases fewer than in the same period last year,” Shohiyon said.

According to him, twenty-seven foreign citizens have been convicted over the same six-month period.  “Most of them have been convicted of fraud,” the Supreme Court head noted.

We will recall that Tajik Ombudsman Zarif Alizoda told reporters on May 28 that there is no cause for concern about health conditions of Yoqub Salimov.  According him, his office has monitored health conditions of the jailed ex-Interior Minister Yoqub Salimov.  “People say he is in critical health condition but it is not so,” said Alizoda.  “Indeed, Salimov is not very well in view of his age (Salimov is 59-years-old) and a long stay in prison.  Our representative and a doctor recently visited him in cell and did not reveal any serious diseases.”

Yoqub Salimov was one of top field commanders in the Popular Front, a paramilitary group that supported the government during the five-year civil conflict in 1992-1997.

Yoqub Salimov was one of the most powerful figures in Tajik politics after civil war broke out in the spring of 1992.  He was once Tajikistan’s interior minister, ambassador to Turkey, and chairman of the state customs committee.

In 1990 Yoqub Salimov was convicted for taking part in Dushanbe riots.  When Tajik Civil War broke out, Salimov was released from prison, and became one of leaders of the Popular Front.  In 1997 he was charged with attempting a coup d''etat.  Afterwards he fled from Tajikistan, but was arrested in Moscow in 2003.  Salimov had been detained since July 2003 at Moscow''s Lefortovo prison.  On February 24, 2004, he was extradited to Tajikistan.  After a five-month trial that was held behind closed doors, the Supreme Court of Tajikistan found Salimov guilty of treason, banditry, and abuse of office and sentenced him to 15 years in prison on April 25, 2005.

Yoqub Salimov’s prison term was cut by two years in August 2011 under the partial amnesty granted to him.