On March 15, 2018, the trial against Bobomurod Abdullayev and three other defendants accused of conspiracy to seize state power resumed in Tashkent. After Abdullayev’s allegations of torture, a forensic examination ordered by the court a week ago to examine Abdullayev has established that there is a scar on his left hand but that it is impossible to determine when he sustained it. This is the reason given for resuming the trial.
During the proceedings, the prosecution brought charges against the defendants. In short, it is alleged that Bobomurod Abdullayev had been writing biased and defamatory articles under the pseudonym Usman Khaknazarov, undermining trust in the Uzbek Government and denigrating the honor and dignity of top government officials. By doing so, it is alleged, he intended to destabilize the country, and by exploiting the chaos, organize armed uprisings in a number of cities of regional significance such as Tashkent, Fergana, and Navoiy. Eventually, Abdullayev with his accomplices, namely the Director General of a textile enterprise, Salayev, a restaurant manager, Olloyorov, and an economics and geography teacher of School №94, Hayot Nasreddinov, allegedly intended to seize power and subsequently hand it over to the leader of the opposition party, Erk Mukhammad Salikh.
In his defence, Bobomurod Abdullayev claimed that all of the allegations were fabricated by SNB officials [ed. – Uzbek National Security Service]. He admitted that he has been writing under the pseudonym of Usman Khaknazarov since 2003, although not all of the articles published under this alias were written by Abdullayev alone.
It was an open trial, allowing journalists and human rights defenders access to the proceedings.
Having heard the charges against the defendants, as well as Abdullayev’s statement, the court was adjourned until March 25.