The Khatlon regional court sentenced ex-mayor of Kulob Bahrom Inoyatzoda to 12 years in prison on November 20, Izatullo Tabarzoda, deputy head of the Khatlon regional court, told Asia-Plus in an interview.

The sentence followed his conviction on charges of embezzlement of funds (Article 245 (2) of Tajikistan’s Penal Code), fraud (Article 247), abuse of power (Article 314 (2), large-scale bribery (Article 319 (4), illegal allocation of land (Article 338’ (2), and legalization (laundering) of proceeds of crime (Article 262).  

Inoyatzoda’s personal driver Khursandali Khurramov got a jail term of eight years and two other defendants – chief specialist with the Kulob town-planning department Firouz Qurbonov and supply manager of the Kulob mayor’s office Khurshed Ashourmadov – were sentenced to seven years in prison each.

As far as shipping agent Muhammadi Shamsididnov is concerned, the court imposed a 31,726 somonis fine on him.  

The court's ruling was nearly identical to the prosecution's earlier demand for a 14-year prison term for Bahrom Inoyatzoda and prison terms of between seven and nine years for three other defendants.

Recall, ex-Mayor of Kulob Bahrom Inoyatzoda has been arrested on corruption charges.  The State Committee for National Security (SCNS) said Bahrom Inoyatzoda was arrested on June 8, while Khursandali Khurramov and Firouz Qurbonov were arrested days earlier (June 3).

"Preliminary investigations revealed that Khurramov and Qurbonov committed crimes of corruption on the orders of the Mayor of Kulob," a statement released by SCNS said. It didn't give any further details on which crimes the three men are suspected of committing.

Residents of Kulob have perceived the information about the arrest of Bahrom Inoyatzoda differently.  Some of them say that he had been arrested rightly, while others said that the mayor was not guilty of the charges brought against him.  

Some of residents of Kulob say that Inoyatzoda’s public statement to the head of the communications service agency Beg Sabourov during a news conference in February this year could be the reason for removal of him from office.  The previous mayors of Kulob had reportedly tried to avoid issues concerning Beg Sabourov’s companies.

However, not all Kulabis shares this opinion.  Some of them said that Bahrom Inoyatzoda had been arrested rightly.

In Tajikistan, mayors are appointed by President Emomali Rahmon, and their arrests are very rare.

Inoyatzoda, who held different state positions for many years, was appointed to the post of Kulob mayor in May last year.  Prior to this, he had served as mayor of the northern city of Istaravshan since 2017.  From 2014 to 2017, Inoyatzoda served as deputy governor of the Khatlon province.  From 2008 to 2014, he served as the head of the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning at the Committee for Architecture and Construction under the Government of Tajikistan.

Bahrom Inoyatzoda was born in the city of Kulob in 1960.  He graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at the Tajik Polytechnic Institute (currently Tajik Technical University) in 1983. 

Inoyatzoda is married with four children.  In 2012, he was awarded the medal “Khizmati Shoista” (For Worthy Merits).