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17:15, 25 June 2019

Switzerland to return $133 million belonging to Gulnara Karimova

AKIPRESS.COM - Switzerland said it would send $133 million in seized assets linked to Gulnara Karimova to Uzbekistan, amid a continuing international struggle over the fate of more than a billion dollars tied to the elder daughter of the late president of Uzbekistan, RFE/RL reports.

The order was announced June 24, just days after an unusual first-person appeal from Karimova, who has been held in a Tashkent prison since March.

In her appeal, which was posted to her daughter’s Instagram account, Karimova appealed to the current Uzbek president for clemency. She also said she had ordered her lawyers to stop legal efforts to claim $686 million in frozen assets, believed to be mainly in Swiss bank accounts.

The statement’s authenticity was confirmed by one of her Swiss defense lawyers.

In its statement, the Swiss Attorney General’s Office said an unnamed male relative of Karimova's had concealed the seized funds by "opening bank accounts on behalf of companies in order to fragment the money transfers."  The forfeited assets will be returned to Uzbekistan, the office said.

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