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Uzbek shooter jailed in Swedish murder plot trial

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Uzbek shooter jailed in Swedish murder plot trial
David Nazarov, son of Obdikhon Nazarov, who was shot in Strömsund in 2012. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT
10:41 CET+01:00
A Swedish court has sentenced an Uzbek man to 18 years in prison for the attempted murder of one of his fellow nationals, a Muslim cleric dissident, in northern Sweden in 2012.

Uzbek regime critic Obdikhon Nazarov, also known as Obidkhon Sobitkhony, was living as a refugee in Sweden when he was shot in the back of the head and seriously injured in the Swedish town of Strömsund in February 2012.

An international arrest warrant issued against a 37-year-old Uzbek led to his arrest in Russia, from where he was extradited to Sweden in August for the high-profile trial.

Östersund district court said on Tuesday that the unnamed man was believed to have acted on the orders of someone else, referring to 34 telephone conversations between the man and his contact in Moscow on the day of the murder attempt.

"What can be said with certainty, however, is only that 'NN' committed the act on behalf of someone else. (…) Who exactly gave him this assignment cannot be established," it said, but added that circumstances "could suggest that the state [of Uzbekistan] was involved in the attempted murder".

During the trial, Uzbekistan faced accusations of political violence on Swedish soil, the first time a country has been subject to such allegations in the Nordic nation.


Obdikhon Nazarov, left, and his son David Nazarov. Photo: Private/handout/TT

Nazarov had been living openly in Sweden, where he regularly criticised the Uzbek authorities.

A documentary aired by Uzbek state television in May 2010 accused him of masterminding a series of high-profile killings in 2009, as well as a 2004 suicide bombing at the US embassy.

He spent two years in a coma after the attempt on his life, and is still being cared for at a secret location.

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