Relative Of Tajik President Avoids Prison Term In Stabbing Case.

DUSHANBE -- A close relative of Tajik President Emomali Rahmon has been given a fine while some others received prison sentences over a stabbing incident that occurred in the Central Asian nation in May.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, an official at the Danghara district court in the southern Khatlon region told RFE/RL on September 1 that the decision was handed down in late July in the case against Amriddin Nakhshov, the 35-year-old nephew of Rahmon's wife. Nine other co-defendants were also found guilty.

According to the official, Nakhshov and four of the defendants were ordered to each pay fines of 60,000 somonis ($5,250), while the remaining five defendants were handed prison sentences of between three and five years for their roles in the brawl that took place in mid-May in downtown Danghara.

Nakhshov, who is the director-general of the Nakhsh gold company, and his associates were accused of attacking a group of workers from the Minu Farm company.

Police officials said at the time that 10 workers of Minu Farm were severely injured in the attack, of whom four sustained serious stab wounds.

Nakhshov was charged with hooliganism, while some of his co-defendants were additionally charged with breaking into private property.

A man who witnessed the incident told RFE/RL at the time that the brawl was caused by the refusal of Minu Farm's chief, Sayod Ghiyosov, to meet Nakhshov's demand related to an unspecified land ownership claim.

Minu Farm is linked to Shamsullo Sahibov, who is President Rahmon's son-in-law.

Earlier in August, Tajik Interior Minister Ramazon Rahimzoda told reporters that the trial of Nakhshov and his associates was over, but did not provide any details.

Minu Farm's leadership has issued a statement, saying that Amriddin Nakhshov "just tried to stop the brawl and called on the youth to stay away from disorder."

All of those convicted in the case are expected to be pardoned as a mass amnesty to mark the former Soviet republic's independence is expected to be approved by lawmakers in the coming days.

Rahmon has nine children. One of Rahmon’s daughters, Ozoda, is the president’s chief of staff, while his eldest son, Rustam Emomali, is the chairman of the parliament's upper chamber, Majlisi Milli (Supreme Assembly).

Several other members of Rahmon’s family and relatives occupy important official positions or control major businesses.

Rahmon, who runs the Central Asian nation since 1992, has been criticized for widespread corruption and a crackdown on dissent.

Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

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