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Moscow court to rule on French psychiatrist's arrest May 12

MOSCOW, May 11 (RIA Novosti) - A Moscow court will hear an appeal on putting a French psychiatrist under house arrest after he was detained at the request of the French police, the defendant's lawyer said Thursday.

Dr. Jean Hoareau, 56, was found guilty in his homeland last May of gross misconduct and rape and arrested after an Interpol operation in the Russian capital on April 7.

Horeau, a specialist in forensic psychiatry and sexual disorders, is currently being held in a detention facility for foreigners but is seeking political asylum in Russia, where he has been living for 14 years.

"We have appealed to replace the conditions of his custody with house arrest," Hoareau's lawyer Igor Trunov said.

In the appeal, Trunov said Hoareau was a well-known researcher and an exemplary family man. Hoareau is married with three children.

The prosecutor in turn requested that court remand Hoareau in custody.

Trunov said that under a European Convention, the detainee could remain in custody for 40 days only.

"The 40 days will expire on Monday, May 15," he said.

Russian daily Kommersant reported earlier that the defense team was suggesting that Hoareau, deputy chairman of the Association of European Psychiatrists and head of the European Center for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, was being sought by the French authorities because they suspected him of spying.

Trunov described the arrest as "a purely political decision."

"My client was arrested following the decision of the French judiciary," Trunov said.

"The verdict was passed in absentia," Trunov said. "The court sentenced him to 15 years in prison for allegedly raping a patient while she was under hypnosis."

"We will definitely appeal the decision to arrest him," Trunov said, adding that he would most likely appeal with the Moscow City Court, the Prosecutor General's Office and Russia's human rights ombudsman.

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