Citing a source within the Supreme Court of Tajikistan, Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service reported on January 26 that former police Colonel Akmal Yusufzoda will face trial on charges of involvement in the kidnapping and murder of a university teacher.  The source said the trial date will be set in early February.

Recall, the Prosecutor-General’s Office reported in June last year that the chief of the Department of Analysis and International Relations at the Interior Ministry’s Organized Control Directorate, Lieutenant-Colonel Akmal Yusufzoda, and his relative Ismoiljon Shukurov were arrested on June 15 on suspicion of abduction of a person.

Criminal proceedings have been instituted against them under the provisions of Article 130 (2) of Tajikistan’s Penal Code – abduction of a person by a group of persons by prior conspiracy, using the force dangerous to health and life; an investigation is under. 

According to a report released by the Prosecutor-General’s Office, Yusufzoda and Shukurov forced Ismoiljon Rahmonov, a lecturer at the Tajik State University of Commerce, into Yusufzoda’s official car Hyundai Accent on the night of June 12.  They reportedly tied Rahmonov’s hands together and drove towards the Dushanbe-Khujand highway. 

They reportedly stopped the car at the 118th kilometer of the Dushanbe-Khujand highway near Chorei village in Ani district (Sughd province).  They pulled Rahmonov out of the car and threw him into the Fon Daryo River and fled the scene of the incident. 

According to the Prosecutor-General’s Office, the incident has stemmed from jealousy.  Rahmonov and Yusufzoda's wife work at the same university.  Rahmonov taught management at the university and Yusufzoda's wife teaches English.

If found guilty, Akmal Yusufzoda and Ismoiljon Shukurov could face up to 12 years in prison each.