Late Uzbek leader’s daughter asks his successor for clemency

ALMATY (Reuters) – Gulnara Karimova, the imprisoned daughter of late Uzbek President Islam Karimov, has asked his successor to release her in exchange for facilitating the confiscation of her remaining assets, worth $686 million.

Karimova, 47, was jailed in March 2019 for violating the terms of her house arrest after receiving a five-year sentence in 2015 on charges of embezzlement and extortion.

In an open letter to President Shavkat Mirziyoyev published on Wednesday, she said she had not been told how long she was supposed to remain behind bars, but asked him to allow her release, citing ill health and an urgent need for surgery.

In exchange, Karimova said she would stop legally contesting the Tashkent government’s efforts to confiscate from her $686 million in assets already frozen by authorities in Switzerland.

Karimova, a powerful businesswoman before she fell out with her own father around 2014, said the Uzbek government has already confiscated $1.2 billion worth of her assets.

State prosecutors said last August they had launched a fresh criminal probe against Karimova on charges which included illegally privatising state property, but there have been no official reports about her conviction on those charges.

(Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Catherine Evans)