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Professor to Face Sharia Court For Picking up Pottery in Iraq

A Russian law school professor is set to face an Islamic Sharia court for trying to take home a few fragments of pottery he picked up from the ground during a guided tour in Iraq, a news report said.

Alexander Gorbachyov, chair of the legal studies department at Bryansk State University in western Russia, was detained at customs when trying to leave Iraq, a university spokesperson said, Interfax reported Wednesday. Iraqi officials said that the pottery fragments may have a "cultural and historic value."

The results of an expert analysis of the fragments were supposed to be presented last week, but have yet to be issued, the spokesperson said.

Gorbachyov was being held in an Iraqi jail and is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing at a Sharia court on April 10, the report said.

The law school professor went to Iraq on a guided tour from Egypt, where he had been on vacation with his wife. He picked up the pottery fragments during an excursion, the spokesperson said without specifying the location.

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