MOSCOW, October 11 (RAPSI, Evgeniya Sokolova) – The Moscow District Military Court will continue hearing a case against Varvara Karaulova (Alexandra Ivanova), the Moscow State University’s student, who stands charged with attempting to join the Islamic State militants in Syria, on October 11, RAPSI reported from the courtroom on Monday.
On Monday an acquaintance of Karaulova, Anfisa Khodgiyeva was questioned. The witness told the court that she had met Karaulova in Turkey. According to Khodgiyeva they met in an apartment where several people who wanted to illegally cross Turkish-Syrian border were transported to.
Khodgiyeva claimed that Karaulova introduced herself as “Amina” and was wearing a hijab. Witness denied that Karaulova said anything about the Islamic State. She added that all girls and women in the apartment were engaging in Islamic prayers.
Khodgiyeva did not confirm her earlier testimony. Earlier, she said that Karaulova did not want to return to Russia and wanted to join the Islamic State.
Earlier the court has heard testimony of another witness, a former cellmate of Karaulova. Testimony was heard behind closed doors on request of the witness.
On October 5, the court began hearing of the case on the merits. The Moscow State University’s educators and the defendant’s group mates were questioned as well.
As previously reported the second-year student of the Moscow State University’s Faculty of Philosophy, allegedly decided to join the Islamic State, the organization banned in Russia, and secretly started off for Istanbul on May 27.
On June 4, she was arrested near Turkey's border with Syria along with 13 other Russian citizens when attempting to cross into the territory occupied by Islamic State militants. On June 11, she returned to Russia under escort of Interpol employees.
In October, Karaulova, who had changed her name to Alexandra Ivanova, was again arrested in Moscow and put in jail.
She has been found sane by the psychiatric evaluation.
The student did not plead guilty and stated that she was not going to become a terrorist.
The Islamic State, an organization which is prohibited in Russia, is currently one of the major threats to global security. Over three years, these terrorists have managed to seize large areas of Iraq and Syria. The organization is also attempting to spread its influence to North Africa – particularly, Libya. The area controlled by ISIS covers up to 90,000 square kilometers.