On March 1, 2019, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria overturned a lower court’s conviction of Arkadya Akopyan. The decision takes effect immediately.
The Supreme Court of Kabardino-Balkaria set March 1, 2019, to hear appeals against the verdict handed down to a 70-year-old Witness of Jehovah from the town of Prokhladny.
The court believed the improbable: five witnesses for the prosecution who are not Jehovah’s Witnesses confessed to the mass distribution of religious literature under the personal direction of Arkadya Akopyan.
A verdict in the case of Arkadi Akopyan will be announced in the Prokhladniy District Court. In its closing arguments the prosecutor requested 3 years of incarceration with a suspended sentence. The accused believer in his closing comments requested that he be fully exonerated.
Oral arguments began on 21 December 2018 in Kabardino-Balkaria regarding 70-year-old Arkadya Akopyan, who is accused of violating Article 282(1) of the Russian Criminal Code. The prosecutor demands a conditional sentence of three years deprivation of liberty and two years’ probation.
At the hearings, the assistant prosecutor testified in favour of Yuriy Zalipayev. The prosecution is moving at a snail’s pace.
Investigators have brought an unusually absurd accusation against a 55-year-old Witness: he “called for beating up Orthodox believers and Muslims”. No evidence of this was found.
On 16 July 2018 in the town of Maysk (Kabardino-Balkaria), hearings begin in the case against Yuriy Zalipayev, who has become a victim of criminal prosecution for reasons of faith.
On 30 May 2018, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria reversed a lower court decision about blocking the official information site “Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia”.
Despite the objection of the state prosecutor, the court issued a ruling to assign a composite psycholinguistic expert study in the case.
The hearing will begin with the state prosecutor outlining the substance of the charges. Then a large number of witnesses, called by both the prosecution and the defence, will be questioned. The accused will also testify, and the case materials will be explored.
In Kabardino-Balkaria, Criminal Proceedings Begin Against Jehovah’s Witness Under “Extremism” Article
On 16 May 2017, the Prokhladniy City Court began considering a case in which a local Witness is charged under Article 282 of the Russian Criminal Code.