The North-Caucasian Military Court in Rostov-on-Don started the reconsideration of the criminal case with regard to Ruslan Zeitullayev. Last September, this very court sentenced him to 7 years of imprisonment. However, two months later the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation abolished Zeitullayev’s sentence. The Public Prosecutor insisted on toughening the punishment for Ruslan Zeitullayev.
If previously the defendant in the «Hizb ut-Tahrir case» was convicted under part 2 of Article 205.5 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation as a member of a terroristic organization, now he is standing trial under Part 1 of the said Article, as an organizer.
Lawyer Emil Kurbedinov explains why Ruslan Zeitullayev’s case is reconsidered.
«If this sentence came into force, there would be too many questions to the Russian Federal Security Service. The first and the most important question would be: where is the leader of this cell of organization? They would need to look for the leader then, » – Mr. Kurbedinov says.
Important to note, that, together with Ruslan Zeitullayev, the court also convicted Ferat Saifullayev, Rustem Vaitov and Nuri Primov in the framework of the so-called Sevastopol «Hizb ut-Tahrir case». All three got 5 years of imprisonment as members of a terroristic organization.
«The second question is, okay, there’s no leader in the Sevastopol cell. Then are you sure you are not mistaken with regard to other leaders? Therefore, if that decision came into force, they would have to choose another model of evidence with regard to such cases. It would be a great bane for them, » – the lawyer has added.
Kurbedinov remains convinced that his client’s sentence will be toughened inevitably. The trial itself, according to his estimates, will last for a couple of months.
«As far as I understand, when the sentence was pronounced there was some lobby to send the case back for reconsideration, through the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court said: «yes, indeed, it should be reconsidered». I mean, it’s a message: «Reconsider it and give Part 1». We are well aware that there won’t be Part 2, which means, it’s 15 years at the minimum. I think the reconsideration of the case will last for some 2 or 3 months,» – Kurbedinov has summarized.
Two sessions at merits already passed in the framework of reconsideration of Ruslan Zeitullayev’s case. Six witnesses of the prosecution were interrogated at the last court session. According to lawyer Emil Semedlyayev, the charge is based on the same evidence. «Nothing changed. Given the same source data, there should be some new result,»– Semedlyayev told before.
The witnesses also couldn’t provide information about Zeitullayev’s engagement into the activity of the Hizb ut-Tahrir organization. «One of the witnesses claimed that Zeitullayev was the head of the cell [of the Hizb ut-Tahrir party]. He couldn’t answer the question why he had thought so though. Moreover, this information concerns the time period before 2014,» – Semedlyayev told previously. In addition to that, one of the witnesses claimed there had been pressure from the investigation during giving testimony.
Ruslan Zeitullayev stated at one of the court sessions that they had led him in handcuffs, with his arms twisted backwards, that they had seized the Koran in Arabic from him. They also didn’t give him the vitamins which his wife had sent in a parcel. The next court session in Ruslan Zeitullayev’s case is scheduled on February 27.