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Moscow court remands French psychiatrist in custody

MOSCOW, May 12 (RIA Novosti) - A Moscow court ruled Friday to remand in custody a French psychiatrist facing gross misconduct and rape charges, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported from the court.

The court rejected an appeal by Dr. Jean Hoareau's lawyer to put the defendant under house arrest. Hoareau, 56, was arrested in Moscow on April 7 at the request of the French police after he was found guilty in his homeland last May of gross misconduct and rape.

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

Prosecutors requested that Hoareau be remanded in custody.

Hoareau, 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.

The lawyer said Hoareau's extradition would soon be determined because he had been detained following a French judiciary decision.

Trunov said that under a European Convention, a 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."

"The verdict [in France] 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 to the Moscow City Court, the Prosecutor General's Office and Russia's human rights ombudsman.

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