FULL TEXT OF THE LAST WORD OF DENNIS CHRISTENSEN
Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, 1 February 2019
What did Dennis Christensen say in his last word of the defendant? The full text of the transcript of his appeal, which he delivered in the Zheleznodorozhny court of Orel on 30 January 2019, is being published.
Earlier, at the state of the judicial investigation, Dennis Christensen presented to the court his explanations. The text of his statement in the debates was also published, as were the statements in the debates of his attorney, Anton Bogdanov.
The court will make public its verdict on 6 Febraury 2019, at 11:00.
The transcript of the judicial session of 30 January 2019, in case No. 1-37/2018 on the indictment of D.O. Christensen for committing the crime stated in part 1 of article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation
Judge A.N. Rudner: If you please, the right to the final word is granted.
Defendant D.O. Christensen (translator A.I. Uskov is translating):
In conclusion I wish to thank everybody who participated in this judicial process, over the past ten months.
First, I wish to thank my beloved wife, Irina, for her support and for her attention and love for me. She attended all court sessions and was right at my side. Irina, I want for you to know that I love you very much and I value everything that you have done and are doing for me and for us.
I also wish to thank all my friends who attended the court sessions with me. To see your smiling faces and to hear your voices, this was all for me a great encouragement and it reminded me that I am not alone. You planned your work and your affairs so that you could attend here and support me during the judicial sessions. You fulfilled the words written in Proverbs 17:17: "A friend loves at all times and, like a brother, appears at the time of misfortune." I wish to thank you with all my heart!
I want to address the prosecutors. I do not at all agree with you in this case, neither your accusations nor your baseless conclusions. But I also know that in your work there are various other tasks that may be useful for society. I wish to thank Mr. Fomin for his visit in the SIZO. He made sure that everything was in order in my cell and whether I had any desires or complaints. I wish to express special thanks to Mrs. Naumova for her good mood and for the fact that she always maintained her dignity and smile.
Many different secretaries participated. They all worked very professionally and ensured the appropriate organization of the judicial process. I wish to thank them all.
Your honor, Mr. Rudnev, I wish to thank you that you allowed me to acquaint myself with all materials of this case from the beginning of the trial. Because of this I had the possibility of understanding what was being talked about. I also thank you that you permitted me to return to the SIZO for dinner, since this had a good effect on the state of my health. I very much appreciate that you did not prevent me from having telephone conversations with my wife, father, and sister, and also that I was able to have in prison visits with my wife twice a month. Thank you!
Mr. Alexander Ivanovich Uskov—my faithful translator. I want to thank you many times for your very valuable help and good work, which you did and are still doing in this criminal case. Without you it would be impossible for me to understand what is happening here. I very much value your translation and the help that you provided me. I am sure that we still have much work and that our cooperation is not yet over.
I especially want to thank my attorneys, Mrs. Irina Aleksandrovna Krasnikova, Mr. Anton Nikolaevich Bogdanov, and Mr. Viktor Yurievich Zhenkov. You have done a great job at a very high professional level. I am satisfied with your defense and the legal help that you have shown me.
Sooner or later the truth will always become evident. And it will also in this case. The prosecution requests to condemn me to six and a half years of prison. But for what? For nothing.
Six and a half years for the fact that I am an honest person who respects the laws of the country.
Six and a half years for the fact that I am a believing person, who loves his neighbor as himself.
For the fact that I am a good neighbor and participated in building a children's playground.
Six and a half years for the fact that I am a Jehovah's Witness, who loves the Russian people.
For the fact that I paid taxes and am an officially registered businessman.
For the fact that I never did any criminal acts.
Six and a half years for the fact that I regularly participated in cleaning up the city.
For the fact that I love Russia and its culture.
For the fact that I observed and took advantage of article 28 of the Russian constitution.
Six and a half years for nothing! This is definitely unjust. And on the contrary it is absolutely stupid and insane.
I sincerely hope that today the court will protect the right to freedom of religious confession and take care that article 28 of the constitution of the Russian federation will in the future operate for people of all confessions here in Russia!
I very much await that day when the following words will be fulfilled: "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men and he will abide with them. They will be his people and God himself will be their God with them. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes and there will be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, and there will be no more sickness, for the former things have passed. And God says from his throne: Behold, I create everything new."
These words are written in the Revelation, chapter 21, verses 3 to 5, and they describe the time when God will be concerned for justice and true liberty for all people. Liberty and justice are closely linked to one another. God must be concerned that all of this will be fulfilled. But you, esteemed judge, Your Honor, can by your decision in this case take a step in that direction, in the direction of liberty and justice. And I hope that you will do that!
Thank you in advance!
Judge A.N. Rudnev: The court will retire into the conference room for issuing the verdict, which will be made public on 6 February 2019 at eleven o'clock. (tr. by PDS, posted 3 February 2019)
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