Criminal charges appear to be looming for Gulnara Karimova, the once high-flying daughter of Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov. Prosecutors suspect her of involvement in an organized criminal operation that is believed to have bilked the state out of tens of millions of dollars.
A statement naming Karimova as a suspect – issued by Uzbekistan’s general prosecutor’s office on September 8 – is the first official acknowledgement that Karimova, who has been under unofficial house arrest since February, is in legal hot water.
The naming of the president’s daughter as a target of a criminal investigation puts an exclamation point on what has been the spectacular downfall of a woman who once wielded enormous power and controlled a vast business empire in Uzbekistan, now dismantled.
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Joanna Lillis is a freelance writer who specializes in Central Asia.