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Moscow court again remands French psychiatrist in custody -1


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MOSCOW, July 5 (RIA Novosti) - A court in Moscow ruled Wednesday to remand a French psychiatrist, facing gross misconduct and rape charges, in custody, a RIA Novosti correspondent said.

The court rejected for the second time 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 for raping a client while she was under hypnosis, and sentenced to 15 years in jail. The verdict was passed in absentia.

"We will appeal against this decision of the Tverskoy Court with the Moscow City Court," defense lawyer Igor Trunov said.

In the appeal to the Tverskoy court, Trunov said Hoareau, deputy chairman of the Association of European Psychiatrists and head of the European Center for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, was a well-known researcher and an exemplary family man. Hoareau is married with three children.

Hoareau 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 decided, and added that the French court verdict was falsified.

"My client is accused of six rape incidents, including one on 1 April 1999," Trunov said, adding that Hoareau was in Moscow at the time, and he had a copy of his passport to prove it.

However, he said the Moscow court had ignored this detail.

"The arguments about the [French] sentence being falsified have not been taken into consideration," Trunov said.

But the lawyer also said the French Justice Ministry had put forward no request for the doctor's extradition.

"I have documents to prove it," he said. "But Russian law enforcement officers detained my client on the basis of a copy of some request, and the [French] court verdict has not been included in the documents relating to the case."

Russian daily Kommersant reported earlier that the defense team was suggesting that Hoareau 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."

In her comments on the court's earlier decision to remand Hoareau in custody, his wife, Marina, said she disagreed with the court ruling.

"He has never hidden from anyone. He is registered with the French Embassy in Russia," she said. "As for his patients' testimony, psychiatrists tend to have weird patients."

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