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Turkmen TV parades handcuffed ex-minister confessing to graft


Sacked former interior minister of Turkmenistan Isgender Mulikov (file photo)


Ashgabat (Turkmenistan): Turkmen state television on Wednesday paraded a former top security official in handcuffs and confessing to corruption after he was sacked by all-powerful President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov.

The Central Asian country's tightly controlled television showed the president and security chiefs watching footage of former interior minister Isgender Mulikov in prison uniform and with his head shaved.

In office for 10 years, Mulikov was the longest-serving of the heads of Turkmenistan's security bloc when his sacking was announced in October, with Berdymukhamedov complaining that "corruption and bribery violate the state".

The television report said Mulikov, who bowed his head and spoke in a monotone, has been convicted and sentenced to jail, but did not say for how long.

Berdymukhamedov was shown criticising Mulikov and another former top official jailed on corruption charges.

"We entrusted these people with top government posts... They tarnished the honour of their families, relatives," he said.

The report included footage of a huge stack of dollars allegedly received as bribes as well as jewellery, gold bars, watches and several large houses.

Berdymukhamedov said in October that Mulikov had received 12 "stern reprimands" prior to his dismissal.

Berdymukhamedov's predecessor, eccentric dictator Saparmurat Niyazov, who styled himself "Father of the Turkmen", was also fond of publicly humiliating disgraced officials on television.

Little is known about the day-to-day workings of the Turkmen state, which is famous for erecting lavish monuments to leaders who have no political opposition or free press to contend with.

The gas-rich country of over five million people has long been criticised by rights groups over alleged abuses, especially in its secretive prison system.

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