2017-05-05 16:55:00

Lawyers appeal Imam Velitov's 3-year imprisonment for justifying terrorism

Moscow, May 5, Interfax - Defense lawyers have filed an appeal against the sentence handed down on Makhmud Velitov, the imam of Moscow's Yardyam Mosque, in the case of public justification of terrorism, Velitov's lawyer Dagir Khasavov told Interfax.

"We have filed an appeal against the sentence. My client is not guilty," Khasavov said.

The defense lawyers will seek Velitov's acquittal, he said.

Besides, he told, the imam has been suffering significant health problems in the detention facility.

"I am working on an address to the Federal Penitentiary Service department for Moscow and the supervisory prosecutor to ask for admitting medical personnel to my client and providing him with medications he needs because of his health status," Khasavov said.

"My client is not receiving medications. His health has sharply declined at the Matrosskaya Tishina detention facility, he has serious pains in his heart," he said.

Velitov, who has Group 2 disability due to heart problems, "has never been visited by doctors" while in detention, the lawyer said.

"He is feeling poorly. The atmosphere is pressing him. A person with Group 2 disability is not receiving medical assistance," the lawyer said.

There are no clocks or watches in the cell and no one tells Velitov when it is time to pray.

"He does not know when to pray, he does not know when it's day and when it's night, it's worse than any sentence for such a religious figure," he said.

It was reported earlier that the Moscow District Military Court on April 28 found Velitov guilty and sentenced him to three years in a penal colony.

The investigation determined that the imam delivered a speech justifying the activities of a member of the organization Hizb ut-Tahrir (banned as a terrorist one in Russia) during a prayer at the mosque in September 2013. Khasavov asked the court to acquit his client, saying he was a respected religious figure.