26 Sep 2019 20:17

Uzbekistan acquits Orientalist earlier convicted of treason

TASHKENT. Sept 26 (Interfax) - An Uzbek court has acquitted Orientalist scholar Andrei Kubatin, who was sentenced to five years in prison on treason charges in Uzbekistan in 2017, the office of the Uzbek human rights commissioner said on Thursday.

"The appeals board of the Tashkent Regional Criminal Court ruled on September 26 to vindicate Andrei Kubatin and free him in the courtroom. In 2017, he was convicted under Criminal Code Article 157 (treason) and sentenced to five years' imprisonment," the press center of the Uzbek parliamentary human rights commissioner said in a statement.

The report says the ombudsman's representatives had several meetings with Kubatin at a penitentiary where he was serving his time. Based on the outcomes of the conversations, the ombudsman forwarded appeals to the Prosecutor General's Office and the Supreme Court.

The ombudsman's representatives took part in the appeal hearings.

Kubatin was charged with illegal activities to the benefit of Turkey. In particular, he was found guilty of sending scanned copies of rare books to foreign colleagues.

It was reported earlier that a group of prominent academics from various countries specializing in history, archeology, political science, anthropology, and architecture signed a petition to the president of Uzbekistan to free Kubatin.