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Tajik Police Probe Deadly Crash Involving Deputy PM's Son

Faromuz Saidov, the son of Tajikistan's deputy prime minister, on September 15.
Faromuz Saidov, the son of Tajikistan's deputy prime minister, on September 15.

Tajik authorities say they are investigating an early-morning traffic accident in the capital that left two people dead after a car driven by the son of Deputy Prime Minister Davlatali Saidov slammed into a parked roadwork vehicle.

Interior Ministry spokesman Umarjoni Emomali said the collision took place in Dushanbe early on September 10, and that two passengers -- a 25-year-old woman and a 30-year-old man -- were killed.

The spokesman told RFE/RL's Tajik Service that the driver, 23-year-old Faromuz Saidov, remained in the hospital with injuries.

Police are treating the case as a "traffic accident," Emomali said, adding that "it should not be called a purposeful criminal act."

There were no immediate public comments from Deputy Prime Minister Saidov, who was appointed in 2013 after serving as the head of the youth affairs committee and a stint as Tajikistan's ambassador to Japan.

An official close to the investigation told RFE/RL on condition of anonymity that Saidov and his friends had left the Royal Club bar and were riding in his Toyota Camry at high speed when the incident occurred. But RFE/RL could not independently corroborate that assertion.

The accident happened not far from the scene of a deadly road incident in 2013 that was linked to a teenage son of Amonulloh Hukumov, a former chief of Tajikistan's state railways operator and a relative of President Emomali Rahmon. That crash killed three people and injured the driver.

That incident sparked angry comments on social media demanding that the authorities bring the young driver to justice. Comments on Facebook and social network Odnoklassniki suggested ordinary citizens were closely following the investigation to see how Tajik police would treat well-connected people in such a case.

Police eventually concluded that Hukumov's son wasn't behind the wheel at the time of the accident, although the vehicle was registered in his name.

Later in 2013, Tajik authorities acknowledged that reckless driving by children of the country's elite had been responsible for fatal road accidents.

The presidential press service said in November 2013 that 850 closed-circuit video cameras had been installed across Dushanbe to monitor the streets to prevent, among other violations, "deadly accidents [involving] the children of officials, state workers, and rich citizens."