Turkmenistan's Minister of Trade and Foreign Economic Relations, Amandurdy Ishanov, has been sentenced to prison for an unspecified amount of time on corruption charges, RFE/RL's Turkmen Service has reported.
Amandurdy Ishanov is seen in this December 2018 photograph in Cairo during an exchange with Egypt's investment minister at an event held by the joint Egyptian-Turkmen committee for economic, scientific and technical cooperation.
The sentence came days after Ishanov was sacked from his post. The tightly-controlled autocratic nation’s state-controlled TV channels showed Ishanov confessing to several corruption-related crimes committed in recent years, allegedly in collaboration with leaders of state-owned industrial facilities, including a well-known Turkmen businessman Charymukhammed Kulov.
Several people in Turkmenistan, speaking on condition of anonymity, told RFE/RL that the "public confessions" were likely a staged performance "to prove" that the authorities are serious about fighting corruption.
Turkmenistan's economy started struggling after low world oil and gas prices set in and gas export contracts were lost. Officials have been shifting blame for the economic woes to outbreaks of corruption in the country.
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