Tajik prosecutor seeks life sentence for suspect in slaying of foreign cyclists


DUSHANBE -- The state prosecutor in Tajikistan is seeking life imprisonment for the main suspect in the slayings of four foreign bicyclists in July in southern Tajikistan, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported Monday (November 19), quoting a "participant" in the trial.

The closed-door proceeding includes 15 defendants. The prosecutor made the request Monday, according to the source.

The four foreigners included two Americans (a man and a woman), a Dutchman and a Swiss man. They were killed July 29 by attackers who rammed a vehicle into their group and then stabbed them. Two other foreigners survived.

Only one of the five accused attackers is alive, Husain Abdusamadov, for whom the prosecutor wants a life sentence. Security forces killed the other four. The other 14 defendants are accused of complicity rather than of direct participation in the killings.

A verdict is expected soon.

"Islamic State" (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack shortly after it occurred.

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