The case of the Krupnovs and Others in Nikolsk

Case History

In October 2020, a criminal case was initiated against Yuriy Kim and unidentified persons for believing in God. Armed security forces raided 4 apartments of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the city of Nikolsk, Penza region. To familiarize himself with the materials on the search, 60-year-old Yuri Kim had to travel 120 kilometers from home. Upon his return, he was paralyzed and lost consciousness. The ambulance doctors did not have time to save him. In September 2021, Maya and Petr Krupnov were charged with participating in extremist activities. It was based on an audio recording made by an FSB agent. A month later, hearings began in the Nikolsky District Court under the chairmanship of Judge Irina Kuznetsova. Many witnesses claimed that their preliminary testimony had been falsified. In December 2021, the court sentenced the spouses to 2 years probation and 8 months of restriction of freedom and ordered them to pay 42,000 rubles in legal costs. The appellate court upheld this decision.

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    October 13, 2020 Search
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    September 15, 2021

    Igor Saulin, an investigator for especially important cases of the first investigation department of the Department for Investigation of Especially Important Cases of the Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Penza Region, prosecutes Maya Krupnova as a defendant in a crime under Part 2 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

    The decision on the involvement states that Yuri Kim "in an unidentified manner attracted Maya Krupnova to participate in the activities of the LRO of Jehovah's Witnesses." The investigation considered it criminal that Maya Krupnova, in the company of friends, discussed religious materials on various topics, including how to remain calm in stressful situations.

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    October 25, 2021

    The Nikolsky District Court of the Penza Region is holding its first hearing on the merits. The case is being considered by Judge Irina Kuznetsova. Witnesses familiarize themselves with the case, then the investigator interviews them in the presence of a lawyer. Many witnesses retract their testimonies, claiming that they did not say anything like that. Among the witnesses in the case are neighbors of the Krupnov family, who characterize Maya as a hospitable woman and give her a positive characterization.

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    October 27, 2021

    Interrogation of a secret witness and neighbors of the defendants. The secret witness does not remember exactly when the meetings of the believers took place and what was discussed at them. Neighbors characterize the Krupnovs positively and add that they helped them with the housework.

    The study of video recordings of worship services begins.

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    November 10, 2021

    The prosecutor reads out the transcript of the services.

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    December 1, 2021

    Judge Irina Kuznetsova asks the assistant prosecutor if there is any evidence of the criminal actions of Pyotr Krupnov. An employee of the prosecutor's office is confused and promises to provide them for the next meeting.

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    December 17, 2021 Hearing in a court of the first instance Prosecutor requested punishment

    Referee: Irina Kuznetsova. Nikolsky District Court of the Penza Region (Nikolsk, Moskovskaya Street, 11a).

    Speaking in the debate, the prosecutor asks for a suspended sentence of 3 years for the spouses Peter and Maya Krupnov.

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    December 28, 2021
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    December 30, 2021 First Instance Sentence

    The Nikolsky District Court of the Penza Region sentenced Peter and Maya Krupnov to 3 years of suspended imprisonment and 8 months of restriction of freedom, obliging them to pay 21 thousand rubles of legal costs.

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    March 9, 2022 Court of Appeal

    The Penza Regional Court does not satisfy the appeal of Peter and Maya Krupnov. The sentence of 2 years of suspended imprisonment comes into force.