An Istanbul court ordered Friday life sentence for the Tajik citizen Sulaimon Kayumov, who was accused of intentionally murdering the Tajik opposition politician Umarali Kuvatov.
Kuvatov, the founder and leader of the opposition Group 24 movement, was shot dead in Istanbul’s Fatih district on March 5, 2015.
He had been invited for a dinner at Kayumov's home where he was poisoned, according to the indictment that was read Friday. When Kuvatov went out to go to a hospital, he was shot dead in the head.
The Istanbul-based Council of Forensic Medicine said in a report in April 2015 that the drug clozapine was found in Kuvatov's blood.
Although the dose was not determined to be lethal, forensic experts believe the drug, which is normally used to treat schizophrenia, had been given to Kuvatov with the aim of poisoning him.
His wife Kumriniso Hafizova blamed the Tajikistan regime for Kuvatov’s death.
An Istanbul prosecutor’s office had sought life imprisonment for Kayumov, who was charged with premeditated murder and being member of a criminal organization.
The court sentenced him to life imprisonment for the murder but he was acquitted of the latter.
During the trial, Kayumov pleaded not guilty to the murder of the opposition politician, saying he "did not have a reason to kill him".
The Supreme Court of Tajikistan labeled Group 24 an "extremist" organization and banned its activities in October 2014 after the opposition group called for anti-government protests.