DUSHANBE, June 21, Asia-Plus – RIA Novosti – A Tver court in Moscow has resumed consideration of an appeal by defense lawyer of Habibullo Nasrulloyev, former head of “Tojikmatlubot” (Tajik Consumer’s Union) against illegal keeping of Nasrulloyev under, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

As it had been reported earlier, the consideration of the appeal was adjourned on May 30 until June 16, RIA Novosti reported. 

   The Tver court of Moscow began consideration of the issue of lawfulness of keeping Habibullo Nasrulloyev, former head of Tajikistan’s “Tojikmatlubot” (Consumer’s Union), under arrest, on May 30.

Nasrulloyev’s defense lawyer Anna Stavitskaya says that Nasrulloyev has been kept under arrest since August 21 2003.  Nasrulloyev, Tajik Consumer’s Union head in 1992-1997, was detained in Moscow when Russian prosecutors received a request from Tajik authorities to extradite him.  Nasrulloyev is wanted in Tajikistan on serious charges ranging from murder to treason.  "Under the law, nobody can be kept in pre-trial detention for more than 18 months," said Anna Stavitskaya, "My client has been kept in pre-trial detention longer than that, which is blatant violation."  According to her, the defense has applied to the Prosecutor-General’s Office over this issue but has not yet received reply.   

As it had been reported earlier the Presnensky court on May 6 rejected an appeal from Nasrulloyev''s lawyers against an earlier ruling denying refugee status for the ex-official.  Migration services also said that there was no ground for granting him that status.  

Nasrulloyev, who was a member of the People''s Front countering United Tajik Opposition (UTO), and his family left for Uzbekistan after the failed attack on the Sughd province in November 1998.  Nasrulloyev then traveled to meet his son in Russia, where he was arrested.