Jehovah's Witness' trial wraps up in Far East


Sentence will be announced on 2 September

Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, 30 August 2019


On 30 August 2019, speaking in the debates in the Zheleznodorozhny district court of Khabarovsk, assistant prosecutor Anatoly Grigorenko stated that Valery Moskalenko, who has already been in a SIZO for 13 months, should be sent to a penal colony of general regime for three years merely for the fact that he professes faith in Jehovah God. Before the SIZO, Valery lived with his elderly mother and provided her daily care that she sorely needs.


The episode of Moskalenko's life that the local department of the FSB considered to be a crime was a meeting of friends in a conference hall of a hotel, during which he read words from the Gospel: "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they do not toil nor spin, but I tell you that even Solomon in all his glory was not dressed like any of them. If God clothes the field plants that are today and will be thrown into an oven tomorrow, then will he not really clothe you, who have little faith? Therefore never worry and say: 'What is there for us to eat?' or 'What to drink?' or 'What to wear?'" Moskalenko explained to the court that his commentary on the Sermon on the Mount bore an exclusively peaceful character. He discussed how to overcome worry because of economic difficulties.


The attorneys spoke during the debates of the sides. Upon the conclusion of the debates of the sides the defendant addressed the court with his final word, after which the judge departed to a conference room for establishing the verdict. (tr. by PDS, posted 30 August 2019)



Khabarovsk Territory Today, 13 August 2019


In Khabarovsk, a high-profile judicial process is continuing on the accusation of 52-year-old Valery Moskalenko of organizing the activity of the religious movement of Jehovah's Witnesses, which is forbidden in Russia (part 2 of article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the RF), the news agency Khabarovsk Territory Today reports.


We recalled that earlier the news agency wrote that Moskalenko was arrested on 2 August 2018 in Khabarovsk during a search and he was subsequently placed in a SIZO.


On 13 August, in a regular court session, a witness for the prosecution, a psychologist of the emergency service, Alena Paevshchik spoke. In the capacity of an expert, she had conducted a complex psycho-linguistic expert analysis of materials seized in Moskalenko's home and in homes of other participants of the organization during searches.


"During the expert analysis, I analyzed video files that were on three disks. On them is recorded several events in which the defendant Moskalenko participated. They occurred in the period from 18 March to 21 April 2018 in a single location in the Erofei hotel complex," Alena Paevshchik said. The expert said the analysis showed the presence in the speeches of calls for the continuation of activity. She noted that in one of the recordings the words from one of the participants, "our organization is forbidden in many countries of the world," are heard.


Two attorneys for the defendant called as a witness Moskalenko's stepsister. "My brother is a good person, for whom Jesus is an example. He is a mentor and support for me," Liudmila said.


During the session, Valery Moskalenko himself was calm, and he smiled sometimes. He abstained from commenting.


Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the RF (Arranging the activity of an extremist organization) provides for a punishment in the form of huge fines and deprivation of liberty for up to ten years. (tr. by PDS, posted 30 August 2019)

Background articles:
Jehovah's Witnesses have filed more than 40 complaints in European court
January 1, 2019
Jehovah's Witness awaits verdict in Khabarovsk court
August 15, 2019

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