The opening of the trial of Voice of America reporter Abdumalik Boboyev is being pushed back, apparently to give his new defense lawyer time to get up to speed on the case. But the defendant tells EurasiaNet.org that he expects a guilty verdict whenever the trial concludes.
“I don’t think it [the trial] will be resolved in my favor. I know how such trials take place in Uzbekistan,” Boboyev, who also writes under the name Malik Mansur, told EurasiaNet.org by phone from Tashkent on October 4. He added that he expected the state prosecutor to come up with an “expert opinion” to seal his fate.
Authorities have charged Boboyev – who works as a stringer for the VOA’s Uzbek Service – with “defamation,” “preparing and disseminating material constituting a threat to public order and security,” and "unlawful entry or exit to Uzbekistan,” the Initiative Group of Independent Human Rights Activists of Uzbekistan said in an emailed statement on October 1.
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David Trilling is the Central Asia news editor for EurasiaNet.