Murad Velikhanov. Photo: Gusen Shakhpazov

25 July 2016, 19:09

Said Osmanov's advocate claims contradictions in testimonies of prosecution witnesses

Today, in Elista, the court has questioned the witnesses in the Said Osmanov's case. The advocate of the athlete has claimed that the testimonies given today contradict the testimonies of the same witnesses given during the preliminary investigation. According to the advocate, the main witness has confessed that she did not see Said Osmanov desecrating a statue of Buddha.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on July 18, the witnesses did not confirm that Said Osmanov desecrated the statue of Buddha and said that they heard from him only cursing. Murad Velikhanov, the athlete's advocate, insists that his client can be prosecuted only for disorderly conduct in connection with his using of bad language in a public place.

At night of April 2, Said Osmanov, a member of the Dagestani team in Greco-Roman wrestling, was detained on suspicion of desecrating a statue of Buddha in Elista. He was charged under two Articles of the Criminal Code, including "violation of the right to freedom of conscience and religion" and "incitement of hatred or hostility, and humiliation of human dignity." The athlete faces up to three years of imprisonment.

The advocate has noted that several witnesses said they were watching the broadcasting of the Said Osmanov's actions through Periscope application. According to the witnesses, Said Osmanov "used an offensive expression against the statue of Buddha; however, it was not bad language."

"Two witnesses insisted that they did not hear Said Osmanov using bad language against the statue of Buddha. Moreover, according to the witnesses, Said Osmanov did not say anything concerning the statue of Buddha at all," the advocate emphasized.

"The statements made by the witnesses confirm that Said Osmanov did not realize that the statue is a religious value," Murad Velikhanov believes.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Patimat Makhmudova; Source: CK correspondent

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