“We are glad that the Sughd court considered Khayrullo Mirsaidov's appeal of his sentence and released him,” Mr. Gershom Sacks, acting Press Attaché at U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe, told Asia-Plus yesterday outside the Sughd regional court building in Khujand after information about Khayrullo Mirsadov’s release was received.  

“We believe this sentence is incomparable with the actions he committed,” Mr. Sacks noted.   

He also noted that the Sughd regional court’s ruling was important for image of the country.  

“The court delivered its verdict today, and we believe that full respect to supremacy of law as well as fair and transparent trials are in the interest of Tajikistan,” Mr. Sacks added. 

Recall, in the ruling handed down on August 22, the Sughd regional court ordered that Khayrullo Mirsaidov walk free from the court although the conviction on charges of embezzlement, forging documents and providing false testimony remains in force. 

The court converted Mirsadov’s 12-year prison sentence to a fine of 80,000 somoni and community service.

Besides, Mirsaidov must pay 20 percent of his salary to the state for a period of two years.  

Meanwhile, Mirsaidov told Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service  after his release that he was unhappy with the court's ruling and insisted he should be acquitted of all charges, rather than having to face a fine and restrictions on his ability to earn a living in the future.

"According to the courts, I am still considered a criminal, even though I haven't committed a crime," he said.

He added that he would appeal the decision to the higher courts and that he would continue to write “revealing” articles as a journalist.

Mirsaidov also thanked Western diplomatic missions and international rights groups for their support.