A prosecutor in the trial of two residents of the city of Tursunzoda charged with brutal killing of a 16-year old girl asked the Supreme Court on April 26 to sentence the murderer to a 10-year prison term and his accomplice to a 22-year prison term.

The prosecutor justified his decision by saying that the murderer – Abduqosim Normatov -- was under age 18 at the time of the crime.  Normatov reportedly turned 18 only 13 days after the crime.

Meanwhile, his accomplice – Rahimjon Komilov – was 18 years old at the time of the crime.      

Consideration of criminal proceedings instituted against Abduqosim Normatov and Rahimjon Komilov is nearing completion and a verdict is expected next week.   

In early February, two teenagers raped the 16-year-old girl Nozima Isomuddinova before stabbing her to death and setting her body alight.

The tragedy took place in Tursunzoda, some 60 kilometers west of Dushanbe, on February 3.

Initially, Tursunzoda police said that the girl had committed suicide by self-immolation, though there were multiple stab wounds on her body… 

A week later, prosecutors launched an investigation into the case following an application by the victim’s family. 

The family took the case to the Prosecutor-General's Office, prompting a criminal probe that began with the exhumation of her body.

According to prosecutors, forensics concluded that the girl had been raped and stabbed 14 times before her body was burned.

The records of the victim's mobile phone reportedly led to the arrest of the two suspects.

Nozima Isomuddinova was allegedly lured out of her grandparent's house in the village of Seshanbe.

The family says they looked for the girl all night before notifying police.  Her burned body was reportedly found two days later, dumped in a remote field in the Joura Rahmonov jamoat 9 kilometers away.

The rate of juvenile crimes evokes serious concern in Tajik society.  In a speech made on February 15, President Emomali Rahmon noted that young people and teenagers were responsible for some 75 percent of the 3,000 hooliganism crimes recorded in the Tajik capital in the past 10 years.

Tajikistan has adopted a so-called parental responsibility law that holds parents liable for crimes committed by their underage children.

The rise in crimes committed by Tajik youth has been widely blamed on widespread unemployment and poverty in the country.