March 18, 2020 / 8:46 AM / 21 days ago

Late Uzbek leader's daughter handed 13 year sentence for extortion

ALMATY (Reuters) - Gulnara Karimova, the imprisoned daughter of late Uzbek President Islam Karimov, has been convicted in a fresh extortion and embezzlement case and sentenced to more than 13 years in prison, Uzbekistan’s Supreme Court said on Wednesday.

Karimova, 47, was jailed in March 2019 for violating the terms of her house arrest after receiving a five-year sentence in 2015 on charges of embezzlement and extortion.

The Supreme Court said in a statement that Karimova’s new prison term of 13 years and 4 months would be calculated starting from August 2015. It said it had also convicted five other people as her accomplices.

Karimova, whose father ran the resource-rich Central Asian nation until his death in 2016, last month asked his successor, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, to allow her release, citing ill health and an urgent need for surgery. [L5N2AQ4SQ]

In exchange, Karimova, who has denied any wrongdoing, said she would stop legally contesting the Tashkent government’s efforts to confiscate from her $686 million in assets already frozen by authorities in Switzerland.

Karimova, a powerful businesswoman before she fell out with her own father in around 2014, said the Uzbek government has already confiscated $1.2 billion worth of her assets.

Reporting by Mukhammadsharif Mamatkulov; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Alexander Smith

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