Tashkent pensioner Vladimir Lopanov has been accused by police of spying President Islam Karimov’s plane after they discovered telescopes he had built.
The former air traffic controller, Lopanov, was detected by police last autumn.
He informed police about a suspected ritual killing in Tashkent by a group of Satanists he heard about from his former wife who claimed that she had taken part in it.
After Uznews.net published an article on this, Tashkent’s Mirabad district police investigated the case and Lopanov himself soon ended up being a suspect as he was accused of slander and false information.
Lopanov’s argument that he had reported to police because of duty to make sure that if the crime was confirmed those guilty would be punished were ignored by investigators.
|Pensioner Lopanov during an eviction on 8 February|
23 January the Mirabad district criminal court found him guilty of slander, false report and perjury but he was relieved of responsibility under an amnesty.
In line with the court ruling, bailiffs arrived in his home on 8 February to evict his former wife Oksana Kasymova and her two children when they unexpectedly discovered Lopanov’s hobby – telescopes.
Lopanov is interested in astronomy and assembles his own telescopes which seemed dangerous to the bailiffs.
“You live next to the airport which means you spy planes,” they suggested.
They went further and claimed: “You spy the president’s plane.” And they telephoned the Mirabad police department to report this.
An operative from the department agreed with the bailiff’s assumption. Human rights activist Vladimir Husainov who rushed to Lopanov’s defence said that the operative had seized the pensioner’s smallest telescope with 50x magnification for expert examination but he had not composed an act of seizure.
Activists believe the incident is evidence that police are prosecuting Lopanov for his report of a ritual killing by Satanists.