TASHKENT (Reuters) – Uzbekistan’s former prosecutor general, Rashidjon Qodirov, is being investigated for alleged extortion, bribery and abuse of office, the prosecutor general’s office said on Saturday.
The criminal case is the first to target such a high-level official from a previous administration since President Shavkat Mirziyoyev came to power in late 2016.
Qodirov, who has been detained, was the Central Asian nation’s top prosecutor for 15 years before becoming a judge at the constitutional court in 2015. He left the latter last year.
The former Soviet KGB investigator made his career under Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan’s first president, who had run the nation of 32 million from 1989 until his death in 2016.
Qodirov was detained on Feb. 23, the prosecutor general’s office said in a statement, without providing further details of the charges against him.
The state prosecutors’ press office said it did not know the name of the lawyer representing Qodirov, meaning it was not immediately possible to contact them for comment.
Mirziyoyev, a former prime minister, has embarked on broad economic reforms such as the liberalisation of foreign exchange regulations, and moved to curb the power of security services.
Last month, Mirziyoyev sacked veteran state security service boss Rustam Inoyatov, completing the removal of Karimov-era officials from top positions.
(Reporting by Mukhammadsharif Mamatkulov; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Alexander Smith)