Prosecution of old case of Siberian sect revived


They are suspected of causing severe and moderate harm to health

TASS, 4 November 2021


A criminal case regarding instances of causing harm to health (articles 111 and 112 of CC RF) was opened against the leader of the "Church of the Last Testament" (Vissarion Community), Sergei Topor (Vissarion); the press secretary of the community, Vadim Redkin; and the director of the school within the organization, Vladimir Vedernikov. This was reported to TASS by a source in law enforcement agencies.


"A criminal case was opened against the leaders of the organization based on instances of causing severe and moderate harm to health. The investigation believes that in the 1990s and early 2000s they inflicted psychological violence on their devotees, which led, among other things, to psychological disorders," the news agency's source reported. It added that because of the dissent on the part of the defense, a refusal to open a criminal case due to expiration of the statute of limitations was not issued.


It was reported previously, citing the lawyers for the leaders of the organization, that the defense will insist on termination of this case because of the absence of evidence of a crime or on a verdict of acquittal. According to information of lawyers, there now are 23 victims in the case.


In late September 2020, the founder of the religious society, Sergei Torop, who calls himself Vissarion; the community's press secretary, Vadim Redkin; and Vladimir Vedernikov were arrested. According to information of the Investigative Committee, they collected money from citizens in order to receive income from religious activity. They were charged on the basis of part 1 of article 239 of the Criminal Code of the R.F. ("Creation of a religious association whose activity involves violence against citizens"). A criminal case on the basis of instances of fraud of an especially large measure (part 4 of article 159 CC RF) also was opened against Vedernikov.


Earlier the prosecutor's office of Krasnoyarsk territory sent to the territorial court a lawsuit for liquidation of the "Church of the Last Testament" organization. The center of the organization is located in "The Abode of Dawn" in Kuragino district in the south of Krasnoyarsk territory. (tr. by PDS, posted 9 November 2021)

Background articles:
Law enforcement moves against Russian sect in Siberia
September 23, 2020

State acts to legally abolish Siberian sect
September 25, 2020

Sect leader held in notorious Moscow psychiatric clinic
October 23, 2020

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