Defendants in Hizb ut-Tahrir case have lawyers appointed

The hearing was attended by representatives of the Ukrainian Consulate and Russian media.

1 June 2016 17:57

At the end of the first hearing, judges of Russia’s North Caucasus Military Court trying the case of Ruslan Zeytullaev, Rustem Vaitov, Nuri Primov and Ferat Sayfullaev - four Crimean Tatars charged with terrorism –appointed lawyers from Rostov for them, lawyer Emile Kurbedinov wrote on his Facebook page.

“Despite objections of the defendants, each of whom had their own lawyers, the judges appointed four lawyers from Rostov for them,” writes Kurbedinov.

The lawyers are to stay in Rostov on all weekdays until the end of June.

According to Kurbedinov, the prosecutor only had time to read out the indictment and mention ‘having a tight schedule to keep by’.

The court also ruled that the witnesses in the case are to be questioned by videoconference from Sevastopol.

Kurbedinov also noted gross violations of human rights committed during the trial.

“The defendants said that their being kept in a glass cage violates the Human Rights Convention. They also complained about being brought handcuffed and bent at the waist in and out of the courtroom,” he wrote.

It was reported earlier that judges sitting in a preliminary hearing on May 18 deliberated for 2 hours before rejecting the defense motion and extending detention period of four Crimean Muslims charged with terrorism until October 2016.

Arrested on January 23, 2015, Ruslan Zeytullaev was charged with terrorism – a crime prescribed in Section 2 of Article 205.5 of the Criminal Code (‘participation in the activities of an organization recognized as a terrorist one according to Russian law’) - under the trumped-up Hizb ut-Tahrir case.

Zeytullaev and three other Crimean Tatars - Ferat Sayfullaev, Rustem Vaitov and Nuri Primov - are charged with leadership of and membership in ‘an international terrorist organization’ respectively.