Daughter of Uzbek Ex-President Offers Millions For Freedom

The imprisoned daughter of Uzbekistan's late president has offered to return US$686 million to the country's treasury if the court drops the latest case against her.

Gulnara Karimova copyGulnara Karimova (Photo: Timir01 CC BY-SA 3.0)In January, Uzbekistan’s Supreme Court in Tashkent put Gulnara Karimova, the eldest daughter of the late Uzbek President Islam Karimov, on trial for extortion, embezzlement of budget funds and money laundering abroad. 

Karimova had her offer posted on the Instagram account of her daughter Iman on Wednesday. The open letter was addressed to the current President, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, and offered the sum held in her frozen Swiss banks accounts in exchange for clemency. 

"To preserve my family and my health, under the right conditions I am ready to release all claims to financial sums, the only money left to my family and frozen in Switzerland, to allow for the simplified closure of the case [against me], namely without a public trial, while I would assign $686 million to the state," the open letter says.

Karimova was a powerful businesswoman and seen as a possible next president before she fell out with her father around 2014. She was arrested in Tashkent in August 2015 and her father died a year later.

A Tashkent court sentenced her to 10 years of “limited freedom” - which means house arrest - for promoting a criminal gang and for embezzlement and extortion. The sentence was reduced to five years after she said she was ready to recover the ill-gotten funds.

Karimova was jailed in March 2019 for violating the terms of her house arrest. She has been investigated for money-laundering in Sweden and Switzerland.