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“Inadmissible evidence” has been presented in the Hizb ut-Tahrir trial

On September 27, in the city of Rostov-on-Don, the North-Caucasian District Military Court examined the evidence presented by the prosecution in the first Bakhchisarai Hizb ut-Tahrir case. The defense considers this evidence “inadmissible”, Krym.Realii reports, citing its own correspondent.

According to lawyers Sergey Legostov and Emil Kurbedinov, the Russian Prosecutor’s Office presented several video recordings and various handwritten notes found in the possession of the accused during searches of their homes. Such evidence is, according to the defense, inadmissible, since it has nothing to do with the charges brought against their defendant.

“The Prosecutor presented some handwritten notes. For instance, one of the notes says “I read the Quran,” while another lists different names One can’t be prosecuted for that. The prosecution presented three videos in different languages in which religious issues were discussed, and two other videos in which Enver Mamutov was asked to leave the mosque because he was speaking Russian rather than Crimean Tatar. The defense drew the court’s attention to the fact such evidence has nothing to do with the violent seizure of power or participation in terrorist activities,” said Remzi Memetov’s lawyer Sergey Legostov.
Memetov’s lawyers argue that “the Prosecutor has ignored the principles of evidence relevance” by including all the documents and records seized during the search, “without any sorting or preliminary analysis.” The court has not reprimanded the prosecution and claimed that it will assess all the evidence in the deliberation room.

“My defendant [Enver Mamutov] is facing life imprisonment. In order to prove that he is guilty of establishing a terrorist cell and planning a coup, the prosecution presents unintelligible texts, sentence fragments and abbreviations. It is a bunch of unnecessary information that has nothing to do with the case. We are simply wasting our time. They are doing this because they have nothing to show,“ Enver Mamutov’s lawyer Emil Kurbedinov said.
The court scheduled the next hearing for October 8. The prosecution will finish presenting its evidence in the near future. According to Emil Kurbedinov, the last thing that remains is interrogating the Deputy Mufti of Crimea Ayder Ismailov and a group of experts from Bashkiria who issued a technical opinion on the matter upon request from the FSB.

On May 12, 2016, Russian security forces conducted several searches of Muslims’ and Crimean Tatars’ homes in Bakhchysarai, as well as of a local coffeehouse. Four local residents were detained and accused of terrorism: Zevri Abseitov, Remzi Memetov, Rustem Abiltarov and Enver Mamutov. They are suspected of being members of Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is classified as a terrorist organization in Russia.

Representatives of the international Islamic organization Hizb ut-Tahrir say that their mission is to unite all Muslim countries under an Islamic Caliphate, but reject terrorist methods and claim they are being persecuted in Russia and in the Russia-occupied Crimea. Russia’s Supreme Court banned Hizb ut-Tahrir in 2003, listing it as a terrorist organization.