Year-long trial of Jehovah's Witnesses interrupted by judge


Vikinovosti, 4 August 2020


Judge Vera Pismennaia of the Industrialnyi district court of Khabarovsk ordered the return to the prosecutor's office of the case against Jehovah's Witnesses Stanislav Kim, Nikolai Polevodov, Tatiana and Vitaly Zhuk, Svetlana Sedovaia, and Main Karpushkina. The believers are charged on the basis of the article concerning arranging the activity of an extremist organization (art. 282.2 of CC). This is reported on the website Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia.


The case was returned because of errors committed by the investigation, which cannot be eliminated in the trial. According to the website report, the materials of the case lack confirmation that the believers arranged the activity of an extremist organization: for example, there are no indications of who, where, when, and how this activity was agreed upon and coordinated.


The case has been under consideration of a court since July of 2019.


On 2 July, a Khabarovsk territorial court left without changes the sentence of the Jehovah's Witnesses Stanislav Kim and Nikolai Polevodov. In February, a court had sentenced Polevodov and Kim to a two-year suspended sentence and two years of probation on the charge of participating in the activity of an extremist organization (part 2 of article 282.2 of the CC).


Polevodov and Kim also are charged in another case on the basis of the article concerning arranging the activity of an extremist organization (part 1 of article 282.2 of the CC). They were arrested by troops of OMON and investigators of the F.S.B. during a meeting in a rented café in November 2018. The meeting was attended by about fifty persons. Polevodov and Kim, along with another Jehovah's Witness, Vitaly Zhuk, were sent to a SIZO but then they were released under house arrest. Polevodov later was released on his own recognizance. A total of six people are included in the case.


On 20 April 2017, the Supreme Court ruled the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia to be an extremist organization, liquidated it, and banned its activity on Russian territory. In August, all organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses were entered into the list of forbidden organizations. Now their adherents have become subjects of criminal cases. (tr. by PDS, posted 4 August 2020)

Background article:
Two more Jehovah's Witnesses convicted on faulty evidence
February 4, 2020

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