Leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir branch in Russia's Kazan gets 17 years
KAZAN. Feb 2 (Interfax) - A court in Kazan, the capital of Russia's Republic of Tatarstan, has convicted Ilshat Battalov, 31, the leader of the local branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir (banned in Russia), an Interfax correspondent reported from the courtroom.
Battalov was found guilty of arranging and participating in the activities of a terrorist organization and sentenced to 17 years in a high-security penitentiary.
The state prosecutor had initially sought a 19-year prison term for Battalov.
Battalov's case was handled by the Volga District Military Court, which met in the building of the Kazan Military Garrison Court.
Battalov was detained in March 2016. He participated in the activities of Hizb ut-Tahrir's Kazan cell from November 2013 to May 2015 and headed it from May 2015 to March 2016.
The man visited mosques, where he recruited worshippers. He also attended secret meetings of the cell.
Battalov pleaded not guilty to the charges but did not deny that he is a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, as he thinks that it has been designated a terrorist organization by mistake.