Late Uzbek President Karimov's Aide Arrested On Unspecified Charges

TASHKENT -- An aide to late Uzbek President Islam Karimov has been arrested on unspecified charges.

An official of the Uzbek Prosecutor-General's Office told RFE/RL on December 22 on condition of anonymity that Ulugbek Mirzamuhamedov was arrested in late November. He declined to give any details other than saying that Mirzamuhamedov is currently being held in the detention center of the State Security Service in Tashkent.

Media reports in the Central Asian nation said earlier that Mirzamuhamedov was arrested after his home was searched by police in late November.

Mirzamuhamedov's neighbors confirmed to RFE/RL that the house was searched and that he had been taken away by police.

The 52-year old former official was one of the closest associates of the authoritarian Karimov, the country's first president, and worked for many years as his aide right up to Karimov's death in 2016.

President Shavkat Mirziyoev, who took over Uzbekistan following Karimov's death, fired Mirzamuhamedov immediately after taking office.

Although he was very influential, Mirzamuhamedov tried to keep a low profile and was not frequently seen in public.

According to documents obtained by RFE/RL's Uzbek Service, Mirzamuhamedov owned 50 percent of the Murad Buildings construction company that was involved in large development projects in Tashkent and other towns and cities.