The Uzbekistan Ministry of Justice commented on the statements by Gulnara Karimova on her possible returning to Uzbekistan of part of funds seized in foreign countries in exchange of her release.
According to the Ministry of Justice, in 2019, foreign entities financial and citizens reported of Gulnara Karimova’s new crimes. This served as the basis for the initiation of a new criminal case under the newly obtained circumstances.
The investigation established that Gulnara Karimova’s headed several organized criminal groups, consisting of people close to her. She had another organized crime group operating at industrial enterprises of Uzbekistan, which provided her with a share of criminal proceeds, the ministry said.
In addition, according to the materials of the criminal case, Gulnara Karimova, through pressure and intimidation, forced citizens and owners of various companies to re-register property to companies controlled by her, the statement added.
During the investigation, reportedly she used the services of 7 lawyers (Karimova’s daughter, Iman claimed that her mother was forced to fire these lawyers). While, all lawyers were allowed to see with her in private without any restrictions.
During the investigation, there were no violations of the criminal procedure legislation, as well as infringement of the rights of suspects and accused, the statement noted.
On March 18, the Tashkent City Criminal Court found Gulnara Karimova guilty of organizing a criminal community, extortion, embezzlement b, legalization of proceeds from criminal activity, and other crimes. By a court decision, she was sentenced to 13 years and 4 months in prison. Other persons involved in the criminal case were also handed long terms.
The Ministry of Justice recalled that investigations are being carried out against Gulnara Karimova not only in Uzbekistan, but also in other countries.
“In these cases, she is accused of committing crimes related to the legalization of proceeds from criminal activity. From the materials of investigations conducted abroad and official sources, it is known that Gulnara Karimova and the people involved in it used illegal corruption schemes to launder money in Latvia, Switzerland, France, Sweden, the Netherlands and, possibly, other countries, ” the message says.
The Ministry of Justice emphasizes that all negotiations in the purpose of returning the assets are being held at an official level, in accordance with the legislation of Uzbekistan and international law.
In particular, the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Ministry of Justice, with the participation of relevant departments, are working together with the relevant authorities of Switzerland, France, Russia, Latvia and other countries to return “criminal assets of Gulnara Karimova worth over $ 1.3 billion.”
“These assets are not at the disposal of G. Karimova (or members of her family), since they were seized by the competent authorities of foreign states. Thus, allegations that Gulnara Karimova personally returned the assets to Uzbekistan or that other assets could be returned personally by Gulnara Karimova or other individuals have no legal grounds and therefore are not true,” the Justice Ministry concluded .
Gulnara Karimova previously penned a letter to President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, in which she stated her readiness to abandon claims for $ 686 million frozen in Switzerland in exchange for ending the criminal prosecution.
She also stated that she had already played a part in withdrawing the protests in the amount of $ 131 million, which, by decision of the Swiss prosecutor's office, are to be returned to Uzbekistan.