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Moscow City Court upholds arrest of student suspected of attempt to join Islamic State

January 19, 12:53 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to a TASS correspondent, the court denied an appeal by defense lawyers who asked to cancel the arrest and choose a more lenient restrictive measure
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© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, January 19. /TASS/. Moscow’s City Court has upheld extending the term of arrest for Moscow State University (MSU) student Alexandra Ivanova (Varvara Karaulova) accused of an attempt to join the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization.

A TASS correspondent reported from the scene that the court denied an appeal by defense lawyers who asked to cancel the arrest and choose a more lenient restrictive measure.

Moscow’s Lefortovsky court earlier ruled to arrest Karaulova until March 27. She was arrested on October 28 on suspicion of an attempt to join IS. On November 10 official charges against her were brought.

Varvara Karaulova, a 19-year-old student, sprang to notoriety in Russia and abroad at the very end of May last year when she walked out of her apartment telling her parents she was going to the university but turned up at an airport and boarded a flight for Istanbul.

Operatives from the Turkish office of Interpol detained Karaulova and another twelve Russian citizens during an attempt to cross the Turkish-Syrian border. All of them had supposedly come to trickle into Syria and join the IS militants.

Varvara, who was escorted by her father on the return trip, came back to Moscow from Istanbul on 12 June 2015. Upon completion of a formal security check on her the court decided to refrain from instituting a criminal case against her.

On Tuesday, October 27 the court arrested the people who had recruited Karaulova herself and had tried to enmesh her in the IS operations.

On November 11, the court denied the girl's request to be placed under house arrest and said she had admitted her guilt. Investigators said they feared Karaulova, who had changed her name to Alexandra Ivanova, would try to contact her recruiters if she was released from custody.

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