TASHKENT — A court in Tashkent has postponed a hearing into a lawsuit filed by dozens of entrepreneurs against a decision by the Uzbek capital’s mayor, Jahongir Ortiqhojaev, which will hand city land to a company affiliated with the president’s son-in-law.
The Chilonzor district court on December 14 put back the hearing to December 22 after the plaintiffs’ motion to remove Judge Dostmurod Toshev from the process was rejected.
The case concerns a December 2019 decision by Ortiqhojaev that would give more than six hectares of land in Yunusobod, one of Tashkent’s most-expensive districts, to the Urban Developers construction company.
Urban Developers, which plans to develop a trade and entertainment complex in Yunusobod, appears to be associated with Oibek Tursunov, the husband of President Shavkat Mirziyoev’s elder daughter Saida. The company was established a month before the mayor announced his decision.
Ansor Naberaev, who is officially listed as the owner of Urban Developers, has rejected any connection between his company and Tursunov.
According to some 100 business-owners and entrepreneurs in Yunusobod, the plan to develop the area will harm their business, while many regulations and laws have been violated since the land, worth at least $11.5 million, was placed under the control of the investor.
According to official registration and taxation documents, 97 percent of Urban Developers’ shares are owned by a company called Odoratus Business LLP registered in the United Kingdom and operated by B2B Consultants Limited, a company in Belize.
The company’s assets are officially shown as having a value of 100 British pounds ($130).
According to the documents obtained by RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service, Odoratus Business LLP also co-owns shares in several other companies operating in Uzbekistan, including more than 60 percent of shares in the Milk House company, which is co-owned by a firm called Pro Milk Technology.
More than 95 percent of Pro Milk Technology’s shares are controlled by Promadik Invest, which is owned by Mirziyoev’s son-in-law Tursunov.
This post was originally published on Radio Free.