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Gulnara Karimova’s Daughter Provides New Details of Her Mother’s Detention

Interview with The Guardian comes days after daughter of late Uzbek president sent off to a prison colony for violating terms of her home imprisonment.

13 March 2019

Gulnara Karimova, daughter of late Uzbek President Islam Karimov, is in detention, after being forcibly removed from her daughter's flat in Tashkent last week where she was serving a five-year sentence for fraud and money laundering, according to the BBC. The news surfaced after her daughter Iman posted a blurry photo to her Instagram allegedly showing two men dragging her mother out of the flat, and was confirmed by Gregoire Mangeat, Gulnara Karimova’s lawyer.


In an interview with The Guardian, 20-year-old Iman Karimova also gave further details of her mother’s initial detention, including how the trial took place in the kitchen of the house where she and her mother were detained, in the presence of a judge, prosecutors, and a government-appointed defense lawyer. Iman Karimova herself was taken away to a government guesthouse complex outside Tashkent after her mother’s sentence, and only released after Islam Karimov’s death in September 2016.


Gulnara Karimova before her imprisonment. Image via Timir01/Wikimedia Commons.


Once her country’s most glamorous face, Karimova disappeared from the public eye after falling out of favor with her father, as accusations of taking huge bribes from European communications companies swirled around her and rumors of inter-family turmoil. 


Only in 2017 did the Uzbekistani authorities confirm that Karimova had been held in detention since 2015 on corruption charges. At that time, her son Islam Karimov Jr. urged the government to give his mother a right to defend herself.


Her initial sentence of 10 years in prison was later reduced to five years of house arrest on “humanitarian grounds,” according to Deutsche Welle, citing Uzbek sources, on the condition that Karimova would assist in recovering assets (apparently the alleged bribe money and other illegally obtained riches). The authorities say her lack of cooperation, as well as her violations of her house arrest, such as using the internet and leaving the house, led to the recent decision for Karimova to serve the remainder of her sentence in a prison colony. 



  • The trial of the former Telia executives allegedly involved in bribing Gulnara Karimova to gain a foothold in the local mobile market began in a Stockholm courtroom last fall, one year after Telia, formerly TeliaSonera, agreed to pay fines of nearly $1 billion (866.5 million euros) to settle charges by the United States, the Netherlands, and Sweden that the company had paid more than $331 million in bribes to an unnamed Uzbek official between 2007 and 2010.


  • But, to the dismay of transparency advocates, last month the three ex-Telia executives were acquitted in Sweden, on the grounds that, since the company bribed the late Uzbek president's daughter, and not a telecommunications official, it did not break the law.  
Compiled by Ioana Caloianu
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