DUSHANBE, January 27, 2012, Asia-Plus  -- Tajik national Yakov Tsoi will be extradited from Afghanistan to Tajikistan within the next few days, Deputy Foreign Minister Nizomiddin Zohidov told reporters on January 27.

Tajik national Yakov Tsoi is currently serving his term in the Pul-e-Charkhi prison in Afghanistan.  Afghan special services accuse Yakov Tsoi of mercury smuggling.

We will recall that Tajik citizens Hasan Otarayev, Shirinbek Iskandarov and Yakov Tsoi who had arrived in Afghanistan for doing business were detained by Afghan special services in the summer of 2008 on suspicion of spying for Tajikistan and Russia.

Shirinbek Iskandarov was released last June due to interference of the presidents of Tajikistan and Afghanistan, while 50-year-old national of Tajikistan, Hasan Otarayev, died in the Pul-e-Charkhi prison in October 2011.

According to Iskandarov, Otarayev had worked for one of construction companies in Dushanbe.  In an interview with the BBC, Iskandarov said that they had gone to Kabul for the purpose of establishing contacts with one of Afghan construction companies and he had accompanied Otarayev on that trip as interpreter.

Iskandarov said the Afghan special services had accused them of espionage and mercury muggling and put them in prison without any trial.

An agreement on the mutual exchange of prisoners was ratified by the parliaments of both countries in 2009 and Tajikistan transferred 200 Afghan prisoners to Afghanistan in 2010 and eight Tajik nationals were extradited from Afghanistan the same year.