Tajikistan charges Kyrgyz army officer with espionage

By IAN ALLEN| intelNews.org |
An officer of Kyrgyzstan’s Special Forces who was arrested in neighboring Tajikistan last August has appeared in court in Tajik capital Dushanbe, charged with espionage. The Kyrgyz officer, Muhammadin Salimzoda, who is an ethnic Tajik, was allegedly in Tajikistan to attend his daughter’s wedding, when he was arrested by Committee of National Security (CNS) agents. He then essentially disappeared until last January, when the Tajik authorities finally confirmed his arrest and imprisonment. Salimzoda has now appeared in court, charged with spying for Kyrgyzstan and attempting to incite insurrection against the government of Tajikistan. Kyrgyzstan’s premier intelligence service, which is also called Committee for National Security (CNS), has rejected Tajikistan’s espionage allegations and claims that Salimzoda is not an officer in the Kyrgyz Special Forces. The Tajik government has refused to comment on the case. Kyrgyz-Tajik relations have been especially tense ever since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, and the two countries’ intelligence agencies have frequently been at loggerheads with each other since then.