Ukraine Prolongs Detention Of Late Uzbek President's Relative

KYIV -- A court in Kyiv has prolonged by one year the preliminary arrest of a relative of the late Uzbek President Islam Karimov who is wanted by Tashkent for alleged forgery and embezzlement of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Akbarali Abdullaev -- a nephew of Karimov’s widow, Tatyana Karimova -- stated at the hearing on February 23 that he would face "death" if extradited to Uzbekistan.

However, the judge ruled that he must remain in custody for one year while a decision on his possible extradition is under consideration.

Abdullaev, 33, was detained at Kyiv's Zhulyany International Airport in January where he arrived with Uzbek and Dominican passports.

He was later sent to one-month pretrial detention, which expired on February 22.

Abdullaev was charged in Tashkent with embezzlement and financial fraud in 2014.

It is not clear how or when he left Uzbekistan.