Russia: Imam caught justifying terrorism during prayer in mosque seeks to overturn prison sentence

Rapsi News, December 5, 2017.

Moscow imam Makhmud Velitov, convicted of justifying terrorism, has filed an appeal with the Supreme Court’s Presidium seeking to overturn the sentence, his lawyer Dagir Khasavov told RAPSI on Tuesday.

“Presidium of the Supreme Court has a chance to amend the injustice before the appeal’s review in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR),” Khasavov said.

On August 1, the Supreme Court upheld a 3-year prison sentence given to Velitov.

On September 23, 2013, Velitov, being a council chair and imam of a religious organization, made a public speech justifying activity of one of Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami terrorist organization’s members during a prayer in a Moscow mosque, according to the Investigative Committee. This organization has been banned by Russia’s Supreme Court.

According to the forensic examination, the imam’s speech contained a set of psychological and linguistic features of justifying terrorist activities.

Defense insisted that Velitov had performed a religious ritual allowed by canons of Islam regarding a deceased Muslim…..