Analysis
9 may 2015

VERDICT

VERDICT

in the name of the Republic of Uzbekistan[1]

On June 15 2006 the Yangiyer city court on criminal cases, in an open session in its own premises, consisting of

the persident – chairman of the Yangiyer city court on criminal cases E.I. Khidirbaev,

popular assessors – N. Najmiddinov, V. Sharapova, with the secretary G. Kutbeddinova participating,

the parties: senior deputy state prosecutor for the city of Yangiyer Sh. Norbutaev, the attorneys Sh. Mamadaliev, A. Kholikberdiev,

upon consideration of the criminal case N°1-110/2006, in regard to the defendants Formonov Azamjon Turgunovich and Karamatov Alisher Khursanovich, indicted for violation of sub-section “c”[2], part 2, art. 165 of the Penal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan,

The defendant Formonov Azamjon Turgunovich, born on 13 December 1978 in the Besharik district of the Ferghana region; of Uzbek nationality; married; citizen of the Republic of Uzbekistan; has one minor child in his care and custody; head of the Syrdarya regional branch of the informal organisation “Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan”, temporarily unemployed; previously resident in the town of Gulistan, makhalla named after U. Yusupov, 3rd residential district, house N°16, apartment N°2; as measure of preventive punishment the measure of arrest has been used in this case; detained in prison since 29 April 2006; has received a copy of the bill of particulars on 21 May 2006; mentally healthy, unhindered.

The defendant Karamatov Alisher Khursanovich, born on 18 March 1968 in the town of Yaypan of the Ferghana region; of Uzbek nationality; citizen of the Republic of Uzbekistan; married; has one minor child in his care and custody; head of the Mirzaabad district branch of the informal organisation “Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan”, temporarily unemployed; does not possess any documents, previously resident in the town of Gulistan, makhalla named after U. Yusupov, Ibn Sino street, house N°21-a, apartment N°4; as measure of preventive punishment the measure of arrest has been used in this case; detained in prison since 29 April 2006; has refused to receive a copy of the bill of particulars; mentally healthy, unhindered.

The judicial council,

upon consideration of the given criminal case in an public judicial session, upon taking the evidence of the questioned claimant and the witnesses, having in depth analysed the materials of the criminal case, having evaluated the precise state of the case, having heard the state prosecutor’s indictment speech, the claimant’s declaration, the attorneys’ defence statements, having given the defendants the opportunity to a defence and closing statement

has ESTABLISHED:

The defendant A.T. Formonov, considering himself a representative of the Society for the protection of human rights of the Syrdarya region, pursuing the aim of appropriation of possessions and property of citizens by ways of extortion, on 12 April 2006, acting jointly with the head of the farming company “Achi-Lolazor” Zulfiya Umarova and the head of the farming company “Shukhrat Haydarov” Rustam Khaydarov, both in the Zamin district, has wrote a notification letter addressed to the director of the unitary petrol company of the Djizzakh region M. Sarimsakov, in which he states that the agent of the Dashtobod branch of the unitary petrol company of the Djizzakh region  Uktam Mamatkulov and the station attendants of the fuelling station of the given branch, proceed in cases to inopportune distribution of petroleum products and shortcharge[3] at delivery, and asked to take measures against the guilty persons.

Pursuing to the given notification letter, an examination was carried out by the review unit of the unitary petrol company of the Djizzakh region, and as the reasons presented in the given notification letter could not be confirmed, the review unit came to the following conclusion:

The defendant A. Formonov, having received the information that no measures were taken against the employees of the Dashtoobod branch of the unitary petrol company of the Djizzakh region, criminally conspired with his friend A.Kh. Karamatov with the aim to attain his criminal objective, thus creating a criminal group, met on 28 April 2008 in the town of Yangiyer the agent of the Dashtoobod branch of the unitary petrol company of the Djizzakh region Mamatkulov, and presented himself as a representative of the Syrdarya region branch of the Federation for the protection of Human Rights, began to intimidate him, saying that he would “make public the content of his notification letter, written jointly with the heads of the farming companies, publish it on the Internet, and will achieve his dismissal from work”, and in exchange for the non-publication of this notification on the Internet, began to extort 600000 sum. On 29 April 2006, around 7:30, members of the police and the state prosecutor’s office of the Djizzakh region detained A. Formonov and A. Karamatov in the course of an operative measure at the bus stop opposite the regional hospital on the Tashkent street, in direction of Gulistan-Tashkent on the Great Uzbek Highway, in flagrante delicto as they received from U. Mamatkulov US$ 250 and 200000 sum.

The defendant A.T. Formonov refused during the court hearing to give evidence and to give a defence and a closing statement.

The defendant A.Kh. Karamatov refused during the court hearing to give evidence and to give a defence and a closing statement.

The claimant U. Mamatkulov gave during his questioning at the court hearing the evidence that

– on 15-16 April 2006 he had received a call from the director of the unitary petrol company of the Djizzakh region who informed him that complaints were voiced against him in a notification letter;

– and that the incidents stated in this notification letter would be examined by a commission consisting of a lawyer of the Djizzak regional petroleum company, the head of the company’s human resources department and of experts on petroleum quality control;

– the commission arrived at the organisation on 17 April;

– at this time the director of the Dashtobod branch was absent;

– when getting to know the notification letter, the station’s employees were surprised about the imputations stated there;

– the letter says that at the Dashtobod branch of the unitary petrol company, 50% of the combustible norm are not given to the farmers, but that they receive only 50% of the norm; and furthermore the letter claims that organised crime is at work at the branch, and that U. Mamatkulov is at the head of this criminal group;

– as he was on a business tour to Djizzak, the company decided to carry out a meeting at 15:00 to examine the notification letter;

– during the examination of the letter, its nullity was established, whereupon all participants departed;

– at this meeting, A. Formonov presented himself as a legal representative of the farming company; A. Karamatov was constantly at his side, but did not join the discussion and just listened;

– the participants got to know that he is a member of the Organisation for the protection of human rights, and when he was asked “Are you a member of this organisation?”, he replied that he was the farmers’ legal representative;

– after he (U. Mamatkulov) asked the question “Do you know me? I do not know you, for instance; I do not know these farmers; Having not examined this question at first, why didn’t you start an investigation then[4]?”, the participants of the meeting came to the conclusion that the letter was unsubstantiated;

– immediately after this, he (U. Mamatkulov) went quickly to his “Moskvich”[5] and drove away, and A. Formonov called him shortly afterwards, and began intimidating him, that he would publish the material on the Internet-site “Neft”[6], but explained that they still could negotiate, and that there the discussion would end, and explained as well that he could turn to the superiors in charge;

– as he (A. Formonov) did not stop calling him, he (U. Mamatkulov) turned to the Djizzak Regional Administration of the Interior and submitted and put in an application;

– there he was given a sound-recording device and drove to Yangiyer to meet the extortionists;

– A. Karamatov accompanied A. Formonov to the meeting, and A. Formonov said that the Federation had statements of 27 other persons and that he (U. Mamatkulov) would be exposed to public disgrace if he (A. Formonov) published information on him on the Internet, but if he gave him 600000 sum, he would refrain from publishing it;

– then he (U. Mamatkulov) said that he did not have so much money, and he (A. Farmonov[7]) reduced the amount to 500000 sum and told him that if he gave him this money, he neither would publish on the Internet the other persons’ statements;

– on the whole they agreed in meeting the next day in Gulistan;

– the next day he (U. Mamatkulov) brought to the Regional Administration of the Interior US$ 250 and 200000 sum, where the money underwent specific chemical treatment;

– then he drove to the meeting with A. Formonov and saw A. Formonov and A. Karamatov at the convened place, but they told him there were too many people around and proposed to drive to the regional hospital;

– when they arrived there in his car, they asked to stop;

– he (U. Mamatkulov) gave him (A. Formonov) in the car two hundred-dollar bills and one fifty-dollar bill wrapped in paper, then got out of the car and took 200000 sum from the trunk and gave them to A. Formonov who handed them over to A. Karamatov;

– when they had received the money, they said goodbye, and voiced another opinion about him;  A. Formonov promised thereby not to publish information about him on the Internet;

– he did not present any official documents;

– reassured him not to worry about the statements of 27 other persons, as he had already talked to his brothers (i.e. friends) in Tashkent and they had agreed;

– if he (A. Formonov) would not have extorted the money, he (U. Mamatkulov) would not have give him such an amount;

– A. Karamatov was present at this meeting, but did not interfere in the conversation, but listened to the discussion;

– he (U. Mamatkulov) does not know the farmers, as station attendants generally deal with the farming companies;

– he understood that the Internet distributes information all over the world, therefore he was scared and had to give them the money they extorted from him;

– because of the defendants’ deeds, his health has deteriorated and he had suffered a severe and significant damage, and asked to return him the money and to take legitimate measures against the defendants.

  1. Khaydarov, questioned as witness during the court hearing gave the evidence that:

-since 2002 he was working as a farmer with members of his family, while in 2005 a farming company named “Achi-Lolazor” was set up and headed by his sister-in-law[8] Zulfiya Umarova, where he became foreman;

– in the beginning of 2006 he met Azamjon Formonov at the Dashtobod town market and they got into conversation: A. Formonov told that he was working at an organisation for the protection of human rights;

– he (R. Khaydarov) told in between that there is not enough equipment, and that they have problems to get fuel and lubricants, and he said that he is willing to help him solving these problems;

– they agreed to meet in two days in Dashtobod;

-two days later he met the defendant A. Formonov and his complice A. Karamatov in Dashtobod;

– during this meeting A. Formonov told him that he had written a letter to the director of the unitary petrol company of the Djizzakh region, and that he had included into the letter all the information he had received during their first conversation; although he and his sister-in-law have signed the letter, they were not informed about its content;

– the allegations included in the letter do not correspond to the reality;

– because of his credulousness and without any information about the letter’s statement he understood, after having examined the allegations, that they did not correspond to reality, and that everything had been formulated by A. Formonov himself.

Sh. Khudoyorov, questioned as witness during the court hearing gave the evidence that:

– on 29 April 2006 at around 16:00 officers of the Gulistan State Department of the Interior asked him to appear as witness in court and explained him the rights and the duties of  a witness;

– he participated in the examination of the computer, the monitor and the computer case[9] seized in A. Formonov’s apartment, and when a specialist opened the hard drive, he saw in its lower part two hundred-dollar bills and one fifty-dollar bill wrapped in a sheet of chequered paper; and when these were examined in a particular device, the writing “bribe-money” appeared twice on the fifty-dollar bill and once on the two hundred-dollar bills, and all this was recorded.

  1. Urozov, questioned as witness during the court hearing gave the evidence that:

– on 29 April 2006 officers of the Department of the Interior asked him to become attestor, and he was explained an attestor’s procedural rights and duties;

– then, experts of the Department of the Interior examined in a dark room the fingers on the left and the right hands, parts of the head, the face and the hair of the citizen who named himself Azam Formonov, and on his palm and fingers, on his face and the hair of his head appeared white and blue stains; a smear was taken at these points and the specimen were put into individual envelopes and sealed; and these events were recorded.

  1. Muminov, questioned as witness during the court hearing gave the evidence that:

– on the morning of 29 April, when they were about to form flatbreads, A. Karamatov, a neighbour living next door, came running, pale-faced, into the courtyard, and asked whether there were some other exit to leave the courtyard, and when he asked him if there were someone outside, he answered that there were unknown people heading here;

– then he entered the bakery and began to form flatbreads as well, presenting himself as another employee of the bakery;

– then two persons entered into the courtyard and left immediately, but some time afterwards five or six persons came inside and asked whether someone had come running into the courtyard;

the employees of the bakery pointed at A. Karamatov;

– Previously, A. Karamatov, never came running in such a way into the courtyard and never formed flatbreads, but came sometimes along to buy them.

  1. Sodikova, questioned as witness during the court hearing gave the evidence that:

– the witness N. Muminov is her husband and that she knows the defendant A. Karamatov as a neighbour;

– on 29 April 2006 the pale-faced A. Karamatov came running into their courtyard where they were forming flatbreads in the bakery, and when she asked what was the matter, he did not answer, but says something to her husband and started forming flatbreads together with the employees of the bakery;

– then two persons came into the courtyard and left on the spot, but some time afterwards five or six persons came in and asked whether someone had come running into the courtyard, whereupon her husband pointed at A. Karamatov;

– when she saw him running to them she thought A. Karamatov might have got up into something.

  1. Ruziev, questioned as witness during the court hearing gave the evidence that:

– on 29 April 2006 at around 16:00, officers of the Gulistan State Department of the Interior invited him to participate as an expert;

– when the computer, the monitor and the computer case seized in A. Farmonov’s apartment were examined, he opened the computer case in presence of the attestors and the officers of the State Department of the Interior;

– two hundred-dollar bills and one fifty-dollar bill were secured from its bottom part, both wrapped in a white chequered sheet of paper from an exercise-book;

– when the bills were examined in a particular device, he saw the special writing, and on the side of the computer there was a gap to put paper inside.

  1. Sherkulov, questioned as witness during the court hearing gave the evidence that:

– on 28 April 2006 U. Mamatkulov, residing in the village Yom of the Zaamin district, addressed him, stating in mid-April 2007[10] a notification letter arrived at the unitary company of the Djizzak petroleum corporation that stated that it is impossible to get carburant at the farmers’ fuelling station of the Dashtobod petroleum company;

– the person responsible for the letter, called Azam and residing in Gulistan, could not leave him alone, asked for money in exchange for not publishing some information about him on the Internet, and asked to take measures against Azam;

– to prove the credibility of this statement, the claimant U. Mamatkulov was given a sound-recording device, and went to the meeting;

– on 29 April 2006 members of the operative investigation unit applied some special powder on the bills he brought with him, recorded this, and handed them over to U. Mamatkulov;

– as a result, A. Karamatov was detained at the bakery, and in the course of the examination of the money and of A. Formonov, the special powder was retrieved by dint of investigation devices.

The offence of the defendants A.T. Formonov and A.Kh. Karamatov, expressed by extortion, i.e. their requesting money from the claimant U. Mamatkulov, threatening to publish information related to him on the Internet, has been totally confirmed by the evidence received in the course of the preliminary investigation and proven in the course of the court hearing, and by the:

– evidence of the defendant A. Karamatov, exposed during the primary explanation[11] that: in front of the district hospital in Gulistan U. Mamakulov took out the money out of the trunk and handed them over to him, and as he saw that two persons came running towards them, threw it onto the street and ran into a bakery; the money was secured and pictures of it were taken in the presence of attestors;

– evidence of the claimant U. Mamatkulov questioned in the course of the court hearing that A. Formonov intimidated him, threatening to publish information about him on the Internet; asked for 600000 sum when they met of 28 April; and on 29 April, when he gave them US$ 250 and 200000 sum they fled and took the money with them;

– evidence of the witness R. Khaydarov that A. Formonov is a representative of an organisation for the protection of human rights, who wrote a statement to receive support in obtaining equipment and carburant; he and his sister-in-law signed the letter yet without knowledge of its content, and understood only at the meeting that the statements made in the letter do not correspond to reality;

– evidence of the witnesses N. Muminov and S. Sodikova, that on the 29 April 2006 the pale-faced A. Karamatov came running into their bakery, went to the employees who were forming flatbreads and began to form flatbreads as well, and when five or six persons came to the bakery, and A. Karamatov was pointed at, they took him with them;

– evidence of the witnesses Sh. Khudoyorov and A. Ruziev that during the examination of the computer, the monitor and the computer case, two hundred-dollar bills and one fifty-dollar bill were secured, and when these bills were examined it became evident that the bills had been treated with a particular powder;

– evidence of the witness U. Urozov that when A. Formonov was examined in a darkroom, the presence of stains left by the special powder on his hand, his hair and face was established;

– statement of U. Mamatkulov submitted to the Administration of Interior Affairs, that he was asked for money in exchange of non-publication of a letter about him on the Internet (item 2);

– protocol of handing over a sound-recording device to U. Mamatkulov (item 3);

– protocol of restitution of the sound- recording device (item 4);

– protocol of particular chemical treatment of 120 thousand-sum bills, 160 five-hundred-sum bills, two hundred-dollar bills and one fifty-dollar bill and the recording of the numbers of the bills (item 5-9);

– protocol of the inspection of the venue, i.e. the intersection of Ibn Sino street and N. Zokirov street in Gulistan, including a sketch and photographs depicting the places where the money was detected, bearing the numbers enumerated in the protocol (item 10-17);

– protocol of the presence of particular colour stains on the head, the face and the palms of the hands of A. Formonov during his examination in a darkroom (item 22-23);

– warrant issued by the investigator to carry out a search in A. Formonov’s apartment (item 24);

– protocol of the search in A. Formonov’s apartment, including photographs of the corridor, the rooms and the objects in them, A. Formonov’s documents, as well as photographs of the computer, the monitor, the printer, the computer case and the publications (item 25-28);

– protocol of the seizure of A. Karamatov’s shirt and trousers (item 31);

– protocol of the seizure of A. Formonov’s shirt and trousers (item 32);

– protocol of the seizure of a computer, a monitor and a computer drive in A. Formonov’s apartment (item 66);

– protocol of the examination of computer equipment seized in A. Formonov’s apartment in the presence of attestors, including the photographs of two hundred-dollar bills and one fifty-dollar bill wrapped in a white chequered sheet of paper from an exercise-book which underwent a treatment by a particular powder, seized in the course of the computer’s examination (item 69-70);

– protocol of the discussion recorded on audio-tapes (item 90-97);

– conclusion of the chemical expertise N°61 and 62 on the detection of a powdery substance of blueish colour taken with a cotton pad from A. Formonov’s parts of the head, parts of the face and the palms of his hands, and furthermore on the detection of a powdery substance of bluish colour on a cotton pad sample taken from A. Karamatov’s palms, nails, face and hair (item 102-103);

– conclusion of the expertise N°63 on the detection of bluish powdery substances on the money and the test pad (item 108-109);

– conclusion of he expertise N°69 on the detection of bluish powdery substances on the bills comprising US$ 250 and the test pad, and the photographs of the money;

– conclusion of the expertise N°70 including photographs on the detection of bluish powdery substances in the pockets of A. Karamatov’s trousers, which are material evidence; and the detection of bluish powdery substances on the money bills extracted from the pockets of his trousers (item 120-122);

– notification letter signed by Z. Umarova, R. Khaydarov and A. Formonov addressed to the director of the Djizzak unitary petrol company A. Sarimsokov (item 164-165);

– protocol of the meeting discussing the notification letter (item 168-169).

The judicial council has deliberated upon the judicial qualification of criminal deeds committed by the defendants A.T. Formonov and A.Kh. Karamatov and considers that the qualification of criminal deeds committed by the defendants A.T. Formonov and A.Kh. Karamatov following sub-section “c”, part 2, art. 165 of the Penal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan does correspond to requirement of the law. As the defendants A. Formonov and A. Karamatov intimidated the claimant U. Mamatkulov, threatening to publish information about him on the Internet, this group of persons, who engaged beforehand in a criminal organisation, created a situation which forced the claimant to surrender his possessions.

The judicial council, when deliberating upon the determination of a penal sanction for A.T. Formonov considers that the presence of a minor child at his charge, and the absence of previous convictions constitute extenuating factors; and that the venal and base character of the deed constitutes an aggravating factor. The judicial council, considering the extenuating and the aggravating circumstances of his offence comes to the firm conclusion that he can only be re-educated through isolation from society, and considers it as rightful to deprive the defendant of liberty in the framework of the sanctions stipulated by the article, according to which he has been considered guilty.

The judicial council, when deliberating upon the determination of a penal sanction for A.Kh. Karamatov, considers that the presence of a minor child at his charge, and the absence of previous convictions constitute extenuating factors; and that the venal and base character of the deed constitutes an aggravating factor. The judicial council, considering the extenuating and the aggravating circumstances of his offence comes to the firm conclusion that he can only be re-educated through isolation from society, and considers it as rightful to deprive the defendant of liberty in the framework of the sanctions stipulated by the article, according to which he has been considered guilty.

The judicial council, when deliberating upon the objects considered as material evidence in the course of the hearings, considers that the shirts and trousers worn by the defendants shall be returned to their family members; one “Invoflix” monitor, seized in A. Formonov’s apartment and used as object in a crime, and one “Sony 52X” computer processor shall be seized for the benefit of the state; the document issued to A. Formonov, the audio-cassette with the discussion recordings, the information publications “Where is my right going” and “My police disgraced me” shall be kept together with the records of the criminal case. This because the clothing that the defendants wore, constitutes their private possessions and the abovementioned technical equipment is considered as object used in perpetrating the crime.

It is appropriate to refund US$250 and 200000 Uzbek sum to their owner – the claimant U. Mamatkulov.

On the basis of the aforementioned, on the basis of the guiding explanations of the decision N°1 “On the praxis of the determination of penal sanctions for committed crimes” of the Supreme court of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and furthermore on the basis of articles 454, 457, 460, 462-463, 465, 468, 471, 473 of the Penal Procedural Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the court issues the

VERDICT

The defendants Formonov Azamjon Turgunovich and Karamatov Alisher Khursanovich shall be considered guilty in committing the crime as stipulated by sub-section “c”, part 2, art. 165 of the Penal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The defendant A.T. Formonov shall be convicted on the basis of sub-section “c”, part 2, art. 165 of the Penal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan to a deprivation of liberty of 9 (nine) years. The sentence shall be served in a general-condition colony. The sentence shall be counted as served from 29 April 2006.

The defendant A.Kh. Karamatov shall be convicted on the basis of sub-section “c”, part 2, art. 165 of the Penal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan to a deprivation of liberty of 9 (nine) years. The sentence shall be served in a general-condition colony. The sentence shall be counted as served from 29 April 2006.

The preventive punishment in regard to the defendants A.T. Formonov and A.Kh. Karamatov shall stay the same – namely the imprisonment.

The material evidence – the defendants’ A.T. Formonov’s and A.Kh. Karamatov’s shirts and trousers – shall be returned to their families upon the sentence’s coming into force.

The material evidence – one “Invoflix” computer monitor and one “Sony” computer processor – shall be seized for the benefit of the state.

The document issued to A. Formonov, the audio-tape with the discussion recordings, the information publications “Where is my right going” and “My police disgraced me” shall be kept together with the records of the criminal case.

The material evidence – US$250 and 200000 Uzbek sum shall be refunded to the claimant U. Mamatkulov.

The parties dissatisfied with the verdict can, if they wish so, address an appeal to the Syrdarya regional court on criminal cases through this court during the ten following days, and after the verdict’s coming into force address a request for cassation or voice a protest.

This present verdict was typed by the court’s president on a “Samsung” computer”.

Chairman of the Yangiyer city court on criminal cases

E.I. Khidirboev:                              signature

Popular assessors:

  1. Najmiddinov: signature
  2. Sharapova: signature

Faithful to the original  Round seal

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