Gusev's case in Krasnoyarsk

Case History

In May 2020, Igor Gusev, a resident of Krasnoyarsk, was interrogated as a witness in the case of another Krasnoyarsk resident, Vitaly Sukhov. And in February 2022, Igor himself became a defendant in a criminal case for believing in Jehovah God. The investigator of the Investigative Committee considered that the believer continued the activities of the extremist organization, since he did not stop discussing the Bible with fellow believers after the Supreme Court liquidated the legal entity of Jehovah’s Witnesses. In July 2022, Igor Gusev’s criminal case was submitted to court. In November of the same year, a judge sentenced the believer to a fine of 600,000 rubles. The appeal upheld this decision in March 2023.

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    May 21, 2020

    Employees of the Investigative Committee summon Igor Gusev for questioning as a witness in the criminal case against Vitaly Sukhov.

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    February 17, 2022

    M. A. Grigorieva, Senior Investigator of the Investigative Directorate for the Zheleznodorozhny District of Krasnoyarsk of the Main Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia for the Krasnoyarsk Territory and the Republic of Khakassia, initiates a criminal case against Igor Gusev under Part 1 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. According to the investigation, the believer "organized religious performances and services."

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    February 21, 2022

    Investigator Grigorieva appoints a phonoscopic examination of audio and video files obtained as a result of operational-search activities. At them, someone discusses how to develop the same faith that the biblical prophet Job had. The investigator is interested in whether the voice on these recordings belongs to Igor Gusev.

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    June 30, 2022

    The criminal case against Igor Gusev is submitted to the Zheleznodorozhny District Court of Krasnoyarsk. It is considered by judge Patsalyuk Svetlana Leonidovna.

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    August 23, 2022 Hearing in a court of the first instance

    The prosecutor reads out the indictment. Igor Gusev begins to read out his attitude to the charges, but the judge stops him. The believer asks to attach his attitude to the case file, but the judge postpones the consideration of this issue until the next hearing.

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    September 14, 2022 Hearing in a court of the first instance

    The secret witness Kuzmin is being interrogated. The lawyer and the defendant have to conduct the interrogation without preparation, since they were not notified in advance.

    The court attaches to the case file the text of Gusev's attitude to the charges, but without appendices.

    About 20 people come to support the believer.

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    October 4, 2022 Hearing in a court of the first instance

    At the request of the defense, a video recording of the worship service, made by a secret witness, is shown. It reveals discrepancies with his testimony given during the investigation. Thus, the video does not confirm that Igor Gusev appointed the date and time of the next service.

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    October 5, 2022 Hearing in a court of the first instance

    The defendant is being interrogated. When answering some of the judge's questions, the believer uses Article 51 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. When asked what his role in the congregation is, the believer replies that his role is "to worship God and listen to the sermon." Regarding the local religious organization (LRO) of Jehovah's Witnesses in Krasnoyarsk, Igor Gusev says that in fact, such legal entities are needed by the state, and not by the believers themselves. "We existed both under the tsar and under the USSR and did without LRO," he explains.

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    November 15, 2022 Closing arguments for the defense Prosecutor requested punishment

    The prosecutor asks to appoint the believer to 6 years in prison. Igor Gusev, speaking in the debate, declares the inconsistency of the accusation, but those present note that the judge and the prosecutor practically do not listen to him.

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    November 17, 2022 Final statement First Instance Sentence
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    March 28, 2023 Court of Appeal

    The Krasnoyarsk Regional Court leaves the decision of the lower court - a fine of 600,000 rubles - unchanged.