Thursday, May 17, 2012 -
A Swedish court will put two Uzbeks on trial this week for the attempted murder of a powerful opponent of Uzbek President Islam Karimov.
Sweden’s chief public prosecutor Krister Petersson told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) that the trial will start on Friday.
Obidkhon Qori Nazarov, 50, remains in a coma since February when he was shot three times in the head during the attack in the northwestern Swedish town of Stromsund.
Nazarov is an imam in Stromsund, where he has lived since 2006 after arriving as a political refugee from Uzbekistan.
The two men, both in their 30s, also come from Uzbekistan. One speaks only Uzbek and Russian, while the other speaks English proficiently and some Swedish, according to The Local online news agency based in Sweden.
The well-liked cleric is an outspoken critic of the Uzbek regime. Karimov accuses Nazarov of heading an Islamic extremist group that has allegedly committed murders and terror attacks in Uzbekistan for well over a decade.