15. Begenjov, Gurbandurdy

Date of Birth: 1956, born in Mary Province, Turkmenistan

Biography: In 1978, he graduated from the Turkmen Agricultural Institute. Beginning in 1978, he taught at Bayramali veterinary college. Between 1981-1985, he served as Second, then as First, Secretary of the City of Bayramali Committee of the Komsomol. From March to September 1985, he was the Head of the Department of the Working and Rural Central Committee of the Communist Youth Union of Turkmenistan. From 1985, he worked in the State security bodies. Until June 2001, he served as Deputy Chairman of the National Security Committee, Head of Military Intelligence, and earned the title of Colonel. From June 26, 2001 to March 14, 2002, he served as Minister of Defense, Major General. He was dismissed “for serious shortcomings and omissions in his work, and the use of official position for personal gain.” On April 1st, 2002, he was demoted to the rank of Private, and deprived of State awards.

Arrest and Conviction: He was arrested in April 2002. In May 2002, he was sentenced to 10 years. At the same time, Niyazov stated that the sentence would be commuted, and that convicted leaders would grow grain in the western region of Bereket (RIA “Novosti,” 24.05.2002). In March 2003, the prosecutor’s office reported that Begenjov was serving his sentence “in the form of a residence in a designated area” (Turkmenistan.ru, 19.03.2003). According to others, he died in prison on April 23, 2007.