Turkmen president fires regional governor for drug addiction

Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov fired a provincial governor for alleged bribery, nepotism and drug addiction during a government session.

During Tuesday's meeting, Prosecutor General Kurbanbibi Atajanova accused Murad Atagarryyev, the head of central Akhal region, of "systematic" bribery, using his position to give official jobs to his relatives and regularly taking heroin.

Niyazov, who presided over the meeting, ordered prosecutors to continue their probe against Atagarryyev. "Those who abuse office cannot be forgiven," he said.

Atagarryyev immediately admitted the charges. "I've made many mistakes, great leader, and will put them right by doing any unskilled labor," he told Niyazov.

Niyazov, who holds absolute power in the gas-rich former Soviet nation, often publicly fires officials and orders corruption investigations against them, the AP reports.