The Supreme Court of Tajikistan informed Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service, known locally as Radio Ozodi, on March 5 that it sentenced former police Lieutenant-Colonel Akmal Yusufzoda to 19 years in prison on February 28 on a charge of kidnapping and murdering a university teacher (Article130 (2) of Tajikistan’s Penal Code - kidnapping by prior conspiracy; and Article 104 (2) of Tajikistan’s Penal Code – murder with special cruelty).  

It is to be noted that the court's ruling was nearly identical to the prosecution's earlier demand for a 20-year prison term/

The Supreme Court added that Yusufzoda's co-defendant and relative, Ismoiljon Shukurov, got a jail term of 12 years for assisting Yusufzoda in the abduction and for helping throw Ismoiljon Rahmonov, whose hands were bound, into a river last summer.

Investigators say Yusufzoda's actions were motivated by jealousy as he suspected Rahmonov had an affair with his wife.

Recall, Yusufzoda faced charges of kidnapping and murder of Ismoiljon Rahmonov, a lecturer at the Tajik State University of Commerce.

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.

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.

Meanwhile, Rahmonov’s relatives deny any connection between him and Yusufzoda’s wife other than a purely working relationship.  

Radio Ozodi’s reporters attempted to contact the defendant's wife through Facebook, but she did not answer.