DUSHANBE, August 22, Asia-Plus – On Monday August 21, the Moscow City Court ruled against the extradition of former “Tojikmatlubot” head Habibullo Nasrulloyev to Tajikistan, RIA Novosti quoted Nasrulloyev’s Russian defense lawyer Anna Stavitskaya as saying.   

Nasrulloyev was freed in the courtroom after spending nearly three years in Russian custody. He is wanted in Tajikistan on murder and other criminal charges that he denies.

Anna Stavitskaya said prosecutors had decided to extradite Khabibullo Nasrulloyev to Tajikistan, where he is wanted on charges including treason and murder, on July 3.  "I immediately appealed the decision of the Prosecutor General''s Office in the European Human Rights Court, and the Strasbourg Court ruled on July 12 to recommend to Russia not to extradite Nasrulloyev to Tajikistan," the lawyer was cited as saying.  

Habibullo Nasrulloyev, the head of “Tojikmatlubot” (Tajik Consumer Union) in 1992-1997, was arrested in Russia in August 2003 following request of Tajik authorities to extradite him.  Nasrulloyev has been held in a pretrial detention center since July 2003, which his lawyer has protested as illegal.

We will recall that Anna Stavitskaya said on May 6 that under the law, nobody can be kept in pretrial detention for more than 18 months, “while my client has been kept in pre-trial detention longer than that, which is blatant violation."  On the same day, a district court rejected an appeal from Nasrulloyev''s lawyers against an earlier ruling denying the ex-official refugee status.  Migration services also said there were no grounds for granting him that status.

Tajikistan’s prosecutor say that, among murder and other criminal chars, he was involved in an armed plot to overthrow the present Tajik government.