Grand Mufti in Kyrgyzstan resigns after release of sex video

Egemberdiev, who has served just over a year in the post, rejects claims he committed adultery. (Photo courtesy: Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty)

The spiritual leader of Kyrgyzstan resigned after a video leaked of him having sex with a mysterious younger woman, The Moscow Times reported Tuesday.

Grand Mufti Rakhmatulla-Hajji Egemberdiev denied that he had committed any wrong doing, claiming the woman was his wife.

He asserted he was “clean before God” because he had married the woman through nikah, an Islamic marriage ceremony.

However, the 60 protestors who gathered outside his office in the Kyrgyzstan capital claim that he still committed adultery because he is already legally married to another woman. The protestors also called for the grand mufti's resignation.

Despite efforts to legalize polygamy, it is still illegal in the central Asian country.

Wealthy government officials are said to practice it secretly.

Egemberdiev said the video was leaked without his knowledge, claiming it was released by governmental adversaries who are trying to gain control of contracts for the haj pilgrimage to Mecca.

He is currently under investigation on suspicion of evading taxes on money taken as bribes while organizing Kyrgyzstan's hajj trip quota system.

In a statement, he said, "My dignity has been hurt by making my private life public. That was an inhumane thing."

Egemberdiyev is the sixth Kygryz mufti to be replaced in four years.

Recent grand muftis, who are elected to five-year terms, have resigned early amid corruption scandals and been kidnapped and beaten.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:42 - GMT 06:42
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