Ukraine refuses to extradite former Tajik prime minister
KIEV, April 5 - RAPSI. Ukraine will not extradite former Prime Minister of Tajikistan Abdumalik Abdullojonov, the press service of Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office told RIA Novosti.
Ukrainian news agency UNIAN has reported that Abdullojonov was released from pretrial detention on Thursday, where he was waiting for the courts decision on the Tajik authorities' request for his extradition.
The Shevchenkovsky District Court of Kiev issued an extradition warrant for Abdullojonov on March 15, after receiving an extradition request from the Prosecutor General's Office of Tajikistan.
Abdumalik Abdullojonov was Tajikistan's prime minister between 1992 and 1993 during the country's five-year civil war. He was later appointed Tajik Ambassador to Russia. In 1994, Abdullojonov ran for president in the republic's first nationwide election. Coming from the north of the country, he was largely supported by voters in the Sughd Province, traditionally the home ground of the political leaders of Soviet Tajikistan. Abdullojonov lost to Emomali Rahmon, who remains president of the country to this day.
He was charged with plotting the attack on Emomali Rahmon on April 30, 1997, when the president was shot in the leg, and with supporting an uprising led by Colonel Makhmud Khudoiberdiyev in northern Tajikistan in November 1998. Abdullojonov has denied these charges in interviews with foreign media, claiming they are politically motivated.
In 1998, Abdullojonov, who had already been on the international wanted list for a year, emigrated to the United States. His lawyers claim that he was granted refugee status.
Abdullojonov was detained in Boryspil Airport on February 5, 2013. The court ruled that he should remain in detention for 40 days. If he is found guilty, he may be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years in prison and his property may be confiscated.
In early March, Amnesty International called on the Ukrainian authorities not to extradite Abdullojonov to Tajikistan, where he could be subject to torture and other serious breaches of human rights. Amnesty International urged Kiev to release him immediately.