Ex-officials in Turkmenistan in corruption confession on TV

Former top officials in Turkmenistan have repented on state television for their involvement in corruption

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan -- Former top government officials in Turkmenistan have confessed on state television for their involvement in corruption.

Dressed in prison robes, their hands hand-cuffed and heads shaved clean, the former interior minister, Isgender Mulikov, and the ex-chief of the state’s migration service, Meilis Nobatov, confessed to taking bribes in remarks broadcast Wednesday.

President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov ousted Mulikov in October following accusations of abuse of office.

His face down, Mulikov said he had “chosen a dishonest path and taken big bribes.” He was followed by Nobatov, who made similar confessions.

Berdymukhamedov has ruled the gas-rich ex-Soviet Central Asian nation since 2006 through an all-encompassing cult of personality that styles him as Turkmenistan’s “arkadaq,’ or protector. He has been frequently shown on state TV dressing down government officials.