Makhmud Velitov. Photo: RFE/RL

28 April 2017, 18:07

Imam Velitov sentenced to three years in colony

Today, the Moscow District Military Court has found Makhmud Velitov, the Imam of the Moscow “Yardyam” Mosque, guilty of publicly justifying terrorism, and sentenced him to three years in a general-security colony.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Makhmud Velitov was detained on July 11, 2016. On April 11, the Moscow   District Military Court began considering his case. The Imam refused to plead guilty.

The prosecution saw Velitov’s justification of terrorism in his interview and sermon about the Dagestani religious figure Abdullah Gappaev, who was killed in September 2013 and who was, according to investigators, a member of the organization “Hizb ut-Tahrir”, recognized in Russia as a terrorist organization and banned by a court judgement.

"I was not aware that law enforcement bodies had treated Gappaev as a terrorist or a member of the banned ‘Hizb ut-Tahrir’," Velitov said today in his last plea, the Russian Service of the BBC reports.

The verdict will be appealed against, said Dagir Khasavov, a Velitov's advocate, the RIA “Novosti” reports.

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

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