Themis statue. Photo: Maxim Tishin / Yugopolis

11 June 2024, 21:52

Judge resumes inquiry into case of Jehovah's Witnesses* from Elista

The judge who is considering the case of three Jehovah's Witnesses* from Elista (the capital of Kalmykia) failed to pronounce his verdict and resumed the trial for additional examination of the case materials.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on June 5, the court session held the parties' debates; and the defendants pronounced their last words. The state prosecution demanded conditional sentences for the women; and the verdict was to be announced on June 11.

In March 2023, the court placed Kishta Tutinova, a Jehovah's Witness*, under house arrest on charges of organizing extremist activities. Tsagan Khalgaeva and Ekaterina Menkova were initially witnesses in the case, but in December 2023, they were accused of taking part in an extremist organization. Tutinova faces up to ten years, Khalgaeva and Menkova – up to six years of freedom deprivation. However, none of the interrogated witnesses confirmed that Tutinova, Khalgaeva and Menkova had made any extremist statements.

On June 11, the judicial investigation was resumed at the initiative of the judge for additional study of the case circumstances, including written materials, Evgenia Smelova, an advocate, has reported.

Let us recall that the case of Tutinova, Khalgaeva and Menkova became the first criminal case in Kalmykia initiated against Jehovah's Witnesses* after the decision of the Russian Supreme Court to liquidate the religious organizations.

*396 Russian organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses are recognized as extremist, and their activities in Russia are banned by court's decision.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on June 11, 2024 at 04:26 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Source: СK correspondent

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