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The story of criminal case number 41-10-305

Under torture, a resident of Osh was forced to admit to committing a murder. The procurator has filed charges even though the investigation of this criminal case did not identify the victim nor the even the very fact that a murder was committed.

In November 2010 Osh City Criminal Court started reviewing the case, in which Murodbek Khamraboev Avazovich (born in 1982) is accused of murder. Under the Kyrgyz Criminal Code, his charges - murder (article 97), kidnapping (article 123), causing public disorder (article 233) - carry a sentence to life imprisonment.

On August 3, 2010, Murodbek was having lunch in a cafeteria with his friends, when he was taken away by criminal investigators without any explanation. He was taken to the police building and accused of murdering Palvan Orozaliev Samievich. This was the first time Murodbek has ever heard of this person’s name. He was told that being Uzbeki, he was feeling hatred towards Kyrgyz Palvan Orozaliev, and murdered him as a result. Murodbek did not have a chance to protest these accusations.

According to Mr. Khamraboev, one of the investigators led him into a prison cell, with a group of strong young men already awaiting him there. An identification test was conducted in the cell, with no-one being able to identify Mr. Khambaroev. Later Mansour Toshmatov (born in 1987) was brought into the cell, and was told that he was supposed to give evidence in support of Khambaroev’s murder of Orozaliev. Toshmatov refused to give false evidence at first. Then he was severely beaten up by the present young men, in front of the observing policemen. He then started signing everything in front of him. Atazhonov Rustam Rasulovich was also forced into giving false evidence against Khambaroev. Neither Atazhonov, nor Toshmatov had ever seen Khambaroev before.

During the preliminary and the main judicial investigation the ‘key witnesses’ of the murder, Toshmatov and Atazhonov, were unable to recount under what circumstances Khamraboev has fatally attacked Orozaliev.

On the victim’s side, relatives of Orozaliev, who have been participating in the court hearings, have also been unaware of the circumstances surrounding his death. The accusation didn’t include proof of the murder. Moreover, the materials of this case don’t include a medical document about the cause of death, nor an autopsy report, nor any other proof indicating physical harm being done to Orozaliev. In the meantime, Toshmatov and Atazhonov admitted to being fake witnesses against Khambaroev. Therefore, as it stands now, this criminal case is lacking any objective evidence against Khambaroev, but the court is still going ahead with this case.

We are just left wondering how the employees of the office public persecutor, who are trained in law and are supposed to watch over the implementation of legislation in Kyrgyzstan, have ignored the fact that no victim has been found in this case. And the actions of the court are demonstrating its full dependence on local authorities.

We are observing a fascinating case: If a murder was committed, there must be a corpse, but the corpse has not been found. Thus, Murodbek Khamraboev is accused of a crime for which there is no evidence that it has even happened.

International observers located in South Kyrgyzstan are constantly monitoring the respect of human rights there. Despite this, it is obvious that arbitrary decisions such as this one still persist. Individuals leading these lawless actions are those in position of power, who are supposed to protect the interests of citizens, regardless of national or ethnic identity.