Tajikistan jails power station 'spy'




January 8, 2010



A Tajikistan court on Thursday sentenced a man to 20 years in jail for spying for the neighbouring Central Asian country of Uzbekistan.


The man, identified as Boimurod Anarov, "was detained with secret and strategic information on two hydroelectric power stations", court sources told AFP.


The man, who had lived in Uzbekistan for 13 years, was arrested near the Sangtuda-1 hydroelectric power station in southern Tajikistan, which was built with financing from Russia, the sources said.


The hydroelectric plant, which opened in July last year, was aimed at easing an energy crisis in the mountainous ex-Soviet state, which depends for 95 per cent of its natural gas on Uzbekistan.


Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have long been at loggerheads over a number of issues, including water and energy supplies in addition to longstanding cultural strains.


The conviction comes a month after Tajik police said they arrested an anti-government militant who entered from Uzbekistan and plotted to assassinate a city mayor using a remote explosive device.