12 Dec 2019 09:59

Swiss lawyer for Gulnora Karimova denied entry in Uzbekistan

TASHKENT. Dec 12 (Interfax) - Gregoire Mangeat, a lawyer for Gulnora Karimova, a daughter of the first Uzbek president, has been denied entry in Uzbekistan for breaching professional ethics.

"Despite the provided opportunity, Gregoire Mangeat repeatedly violated the universally accepted rules of professional ethics of lawyers during visits to his client in Uzbekistan by fueling a destructive situation, disseminating for the purpose of advertising himself false information on Uzbek penitentiary establishments," the Uzbek Prosecutor General's Office said in a statement.

The current legislation does not envisage the work of foreign lawyers in Uzbekistan, the report said. Mangeat's mandate issued by the Swiss authorities is limited to the criminal case against Karimova investigated in Switzerland and his stay in Uzbekistan became possible "solely at the request of the Swiss authorities on mutual legal assistance."

"For this reason, the Uzbek authorities as a forced measure decided to deny lawyer Mangeat entry into Uzbekistan," the Prosecutor General's Office said.

The foreign lawyers for the other accomplices of Karimova in the criminal case in Switzerland continue to freely maintain contacts with their clients in Uzbekistan, it said.

According to the Prosecutor General's Office, the current lawyers are citizens of Uzbekistan hired by her close relatives.

Mangeat said on Twitter on September 16 that another trial of his client had begun in Tashkent behind closed doors on September 16. He said on November 26 he was no longer allowed visits with her and his recent requests sent to Uzbekistan had been declined.

On December 6, the Uzbek Prosecutor General's Office said the completion of the investigation into the new criminal case against Karimova, in which she was charged with embezzling state funds, creating an organized criminal group and concluding deals contradicting the country's interests.

The damage done to Uzbekistan in this criminal case exceeds $173.9 million.

In 2015, Karimova was convicted in Uzbekistan for extortion and tax evasion.

The supervisory body said in its report the Uzbek Prosecutor General's Office and the Justice Ministry was working with countries such as the United States, Switzerland, France, Russia and Latvia on returning the revenues obtained by Karimova using criminal methods worth over $1.3 billion, on which criminal cases are also being investigated in some countries. Reports have been obtained from international organizations and citizens on new crimes committed by Karimova that had not been included in the previous investigations. That led to the opening of a new criminal case based on newly discovered circumstances.

Karimova's daughter Iman said on Instagram on Thursday that the Uzbek authorities could extend her mother's conviction term once again.

Iman said earlier that her Instagram account was run by her lawyers and her brother, Islam Karimov Jr., who is living in London