Case of Turik and Others in Perm

Case History

In September 2018, searches were carried out in the homes of believers in Perm and surrounding cities. After three days in the temporary detention facility, Igor Turik and Viktor Kuchkov were placed under house arrest. Shortly before that, the FSB opened a criminal case against them and Boris Burylov. As it turned out, the special services tapped their phones and conducted covert surveillance. Later, 2 more defendants appeared in the case - Alexander Inozemtsev and Yuri Vaag. Turik and Kuchkov spent more than three months under house arrest. In December 2020, the case was submitted to the Industrial District Court of Perm for consideration by Judge Viktor Podyniglazov. In April 2021, the prosecutor requested 9 years in prison for Turik, 7 years in prison for Burylov and Kuchkov, and 4 years in prison for Vaag and Inozemtsev. In May 2021, the court sentenced the believers to suspended sentences ranging from 2.5 to 7 years. In August 2021, the appeal upheld the verdict, and 9 months later, the cassation approved this decision.

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    September 7, 2018

    The Investigative Department of the FSB of Russia for the Perm Territory initiates a criminal case for faith under Article 282.2 (1); According to the investigation, together with others, he conducted worship services, which is interpreted as "organizing the activities of an extremist organization" (with reference to the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation to liquidate all 396 registered organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses). Innocent victims of law enforcement officers are: Igor Turik (born in 1968), Viktor Kuchkov (born in 1967), Boris Burylov (born in 1941).

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    September 21, 2018 Search
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    December 2, 2020

    The criminal case against Turik and others is submitted to the Industrial District Court of the city of Perm.

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    February 10, 2021

    About 10 people come to the courthouse to support the believers: Igor Turik, Boris Burylov, Alexander Inozemtsev, Viktor Kuchkov, Yuri Vaag.

    Audio recordings of telephone conversations are listened to at the court session and video recordings of worship services are viewed.

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    February 11, 2021

    Defense witnesses speak at the court hearing.

    They give positive characteristics to the defendant Inozemtsev. Witnesses note that the believer is a kind, honest person, a responsible worker, and a caring family man.

    One of the witnesses explains that the believer Inozemtsev was not the chairman of the LRO after its closure in 2017, and the rest of the believers could not participate in this legal organization, but simply professed their religion.

    Judge Viktor Podyniglazov partially satisfies the petition for consideration of the unexamined materials of the case.

    At the next hearing, the defendants are scheduled to speak.

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    February 18, 2021

    The court is questioning prosecution witnesses who knew the defendants before the Supreme Court banned the activities of Jehovah's Witnesses legal entities in Russia in 2017. All of them then ceased to keep in touch with believers. Witnesses for the prosecution have nothing negative to say about the accused.

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    March 31, 2021

    Defence witnesses speak. One of them explains that no one obliged her to attend meetings of believers or make donations; She did not hear any calls for extremism from the accused. Another says that she has never been a member of the LRO and has not met with the defendants since 2017.

    The debate of the parties is scheduled for April 8.

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    April 8, 2021

    During the debate in the Industrial District Court of Perm, the prosecutor requests 9 years in prison for the 52-year-old father of two minor children, Igor Turik, for 80-year-old Boris Burylov and 53-year-old Viktor Kuchkov, 7 years in prison, for 45-year-old Yuri Vaag and 48-year-old Alexander Inozemtsev, who also has a minor child, 4 years in a general regime colony.

    Despite the fact that the faith of Jehovah's Witnesses is not prohibited in Russia, the prosecutor baselessly believes that the discussion of the Bible with fellow believers should be considered the organization and continuation of the activities of the liquidated religious organization.

    On April 27, the debate will continue, after which the believers will deliver the last word.

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    April 27, 2021 Final statement

    The last word of the defendant is addressed to the court by believers Alexander Inozemtsev (text), Viktor Kuchkov (text), Yuri Vaag (text). 80-year-old Boris Burylov also addresses the court with a vivid speech (text).

    Igor Turik's speech is expected on April 29.

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    April 29, 2021 Final statement

    Referee: Victor Podyniglazov. Industrial District Court of Perm (Perm, Mira St., 17).

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    May 12, 2021 First Instance Sentence

    The verdict is announced: to find Igor Turik guilty under Part 1 of Article 282.2 and Part 1 of Article 282.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation and to impose a sentence of 7 years of suspended imprisonment with a probationary period of 4 years; to reclassify the article of the charge for Boris Burylov and Viktor Kuchkov to a milder one, Part 2 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, and impose a sentence of 2.5 years of suspended imprisonment with a probationary period of 3 years; To find Aleksandr Inozemtsev and Yuriy Vaag guilty under Part 2 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation and to impose a sentence of 2.5 years of suspended imprisonment with a probationary period of 3 years. The verdict can be appealed.

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    August 20, 2021 Court of Appeal

    The Perm Regional Court upholds the verdict against Jehovah's Witnesses Igor Turik, Aleksandr Inozemtsev, Yuriy Vaag, Viktor Kuchkov and Boris Burylov.

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    August 23, 2021
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    May 12, 2022 Court of Cassation

    The Seventh Court of Cassation of General Jurisdiction in Chelyabinsk upholds the verdict of the Industrial District Court of Perm against Igor Turik, Boris Burylov, Viktor Kuchkov, Alexander Inozemtsev and Yuri Vaag. The believers were sentenced for their beliefs to terms ranging from 2.5 to 7 years on probation.