An Uzbek military court rejected an appeal for release from prison of the chief engineer of the British company Oxus Gold, according to a company press release dated October 31.
On October 6, the appeal was heard of Said Ashurov, a Tajik national and the chief metallurgist at the Amantaytau Goldfields (AGF), and his 12-year jail sentence on espionage charges under Art. 160 of the Uzbek Criminal Code was upheld. AGF is a joint mining venture in which Oxus owns a 50 percent state.
Ashurov's health has deteriorated in detention, as he suffers from long-standing hepatitis. Ashurov's defense attorneys say the charges are unfounded, as the information he possessed when stopped at the border was either in the public domain or available in the mining community.
Robert Amsterdam, counsel to Oxus gold, said in the statement:
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