The Investigation Department under the Surkhandarya province Police Department has completed the investigation of the criminal case against the blogger Otabek Satoriy and handed over the indictment to the prosecutor's office for further submitting the case to court, the press service of the Investigation Department said.
According to the department, the investigation of the criminal case against Otabek Satoriy showed that in the period from June 2020 to January 2021 he committed such crimes as extortion, libel and insult against Isroil Kh., Mastona A., Nasiba N., Tukhtamish K., Utkir T., Ashura H., Zokirjon H. and Lochin T., pursuing the goal of extracting material benefits from some of them.
Based on the findings of investigation, the Investigation Department on February 24 brought charges against Otabek Sattoriy under Extortion committed repeatedly or by a dangerous repeat offender on a large scale, Extortion on an especially large scale, Libel combined with an accusation of committing a grave or especially grave crime, for mercenary or other base motives and Insult in connection with the performance by the victim of his official or civil duty of the Criminal Code.
Officers from the Termez Police Department arrested blogger Otabek Satoriy on January 29. A video was circulated on social networks in which law enforcement officers forcibly put a man in a car and take him away. Initially, the criminal case was initiated under Extortion charge.
The detainee's lawyer argued that the case was fabricated. Deputy Rasul Kusherbayev, British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, head of the Board of Trustees of the Public Fund for Support and Development of National Mass Media Komil Allamjonov, the Committee to Protect Journalists (USA) and others reacted to the situation. In response to this, the Ministry of Internal Affairs has warned of responsibility for interfering with the investigation of the criminal case.
Later, the General Prosecutor's Office stated that the Surkhandarya Internal Affairs Directorate, which opened a criminal case against the blogger Otabek Satoriy, had not violate the laws. The blogger received complaints on 7 cases, the department noted then. The court fined him 40 basic values (BV=US$ 21) under articles on libel, insult and dissemination of false information.