2012-06-18 18:03:00

Moscow lawyers refuse to oust pro-Sharia attorney

Moscow, June 18, Interfax - The Moscow Lawyers' Chamber has definitively refused to annul the attorney status of a man who became embroiled in a scandal several weeks ago by suggesting that Sharia courts be set up in Moscow to tackle problems of the local Muslim community, the troublemaker's defense lawyer said.

The Chamber's board issued a "definitive" verdict upholding a decision by the Chamber's qualification commission last week to preserve Dagir Khasavov's attorney status, Sergey Belyak told Interfax.

The Chamber's move threw out a demand from the Justice Ministry that Khasavov be stripped of his status as a lawyer. Belyak said the Justice Ministry would be unable to appeal the Chamber's dictum.

However, proceedings launched against Khasavov by the prosecution service, which accuses him of incitement of hatred, "are continuing and going at their own pace," Belyak said.

Khasavov said in an interview with REN TV on April 24 that Muslims in Russia do not wish to go to secular courts and therefore should use sharia courts. Otherwise, "there will be bloodshed in Moscow and it will turn into a dead sea," he said.

The Prosecutor General's Office qualified Khasavov's statements as extremist and responded with an incitement of hatred action, while the Justice Ministry demanded that the Moscow Lawyers' Chamber deprive the lawyer of his attorney status.

Khasavov himself left Russia in a hurry after that and claimed that his words had been misrepresented and torn out of context.