Case of Zalipayev in Mayskiy

Case History

It took a Jehovah’s Witness from Kabardino-Balkaria almost 5 years to prove that he was not an extremist. The criminal prosecution began in 2016, when the security forces “found” planted banned literature in the church building. The believer was charged with “inciting hatred and enmity” (later the article was decriminalized) and “public calls for extremist activities.” At the hearings in the Maisky District Court, it turned out that the special services were recruiting false witnesses in educational institutions where Zalipaev worked. The state prosecutor asked to appoint the believer to 2 years in prison, but the court acquitted him. In January 2021, the Supreme Court of Kabardino-Balkaria approved this decision, and in February 2021, the prosecutor’s office made an official apology to Zalipaev. In July 2021, the Maisky City Court ruled to pay the believer one million rubles in compensation for moral damage, but the court of appeal reduced this amount to 500,000 rubles.

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    August 23, 2017
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    21.06.2018, 03.07.2018, 04.07.2018

    Judge Elena Kudryavtseva held a preliminary hearing behind closed doors.

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    July 6, 2018
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    July 16, 2018

    The hearing on the merits began with a statement by the public prosecutor of the merits of the charges. In his opinion, the defendant not only spoke unflatteringly about Muslims and Orthodox Christians, but called on other Jehovah's Witnesses to beat them, and also distributed religious literature, the distribution of which is prohibited in Russia, to non-Jehovah's Witnesses, so that they would distribute it instead of Jehovah's Witnesses.

    Defense lawyer Anton Omelchenko noted in his speech that the investigator refused to attach almost two volumes of written evidence collected by the defense, and refused to conduct an author's study, which would be guaranteed to show that Yuriy Zalipayev did not utter the statements attributed to him. Moreover, law enforcement agencies tried to destroy videos of how evidence against Zalipayev was falsified.

    According to the lawyer, the prosecution itself presented evidence to the court that law enforcement agencies destroyed some evidence, falsified others, and when they realized that they had been exposed, they began to take measures aimed at concealing their illegal activities. The falsification of evidence was coordinated from a telephone belonging to FSB officer Sergei Svetikov.

    The fact that this phone belonged in the testimony was personally confirmed by the district police commissioner of the department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation in the Maisky district, Alexander Savinov. At the same time, the district police officer never observed that Jehovah's Witnesses showed violence against Muslims or Orthodox Christians.

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    July 19, 2018
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    August 27, 2018

    Senior Assistant Prosecutor of the Maisky District Denis Shapovalov was interrogated. He confirmed that the phone number from which the falsification of evidence was coordinated belongs to FSB officer Sergei Svetikov. According to Shapovalov, he is not aware of any Jehovah's Witnesses distributing literature on the federal list of extremist materials.

    The testimony was given by a local resident, Yuri Vodogretsky, an employee of the Children's Academy of Creativity in Mayskoye. He said that a certain woman in August 2016 gave him and his friend from the magazine "Awake!". They threw the literature into the trash can. The witness could not explain how the security forces learned about the events of almost a year ago and invited him to testify in the Zalipayev case. He also stated that he was not aware of the attempts of the security forces to recruit false witnesses from the field of education, in which Yuriy Zalipayev had previously worked.

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    August 31, 2018
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    September 7, 2018

    Five law enforcement officers were questioned at the court hearing. One of them, Victoria Khamdokhova, participated in the search in the Kingdom Hall and drew up a protocol on an administrative offense against Zalipayev. Khamdokhova considered that the literature belonged to Zalipaev, based on the statement of Yevgeny Kireev (a key witness for the prosecution, at whose request the search was conducted in the liturgical building), after which the search began. The witness is not aware that Zalipayev publicly called for beating Muslims and Orthodox Christians. Although other witnesses reported that believers were outraged by the planting of literature from the list of extremist materials, Hamdokhova said that no one voiced complaints during the search. Hamdokhova also admitted that the security forces seized the tablets on which those present filmed a video of what was happening. The witness also admitted that she had called up FSB officer Svetikov on the phone, the number of which was indicated by the defense.

    Another witness, traffic police inspector Vladimir Makhmudov, said that he did not know the facts of the attack of Jehovah's Witnesses on representatives of other religions. The same testimony was given by other prosecution witnesses questioned that day.

    Traffic police officer Vladimir Bochkov, who was invited to court by the prosecution, said that he "does not know anything and does not understand at all why he was invited here." On the day of the search, Bochkov was on duty near the Kingdom Hall.

    Witness Sultan Kumakhov took part in the search. He explained that he had interrogated the witness Kireyev, who, in his words, was "one of the parishioners." Kireyev saw extremist statements in the brochure of Jehovah's Witnesses. Referring to Kireyev, Kumakhov also said that Zalipayev exalted his faith over others. At the same time, Kumakhov did not receive confirmation of this information from anyone else.

    Timur Friev, an employee of the CPE, was part of the task force that conducted the search. He said that during the events in the worship building, believers announced the planting of literature. He also claimed that he did not know the FSB officer Svetikov, but could not clarify how the billing revealed the fact of his telephone conversations with him. Friev also did not hear Zalipayev utter offensive remarks, calls for pressure and violence.

    The testimony was given by the director of School No. 42 Prokhladny, Viktor Popov, who described the circumstances of the search in court. He confirmed that the believers claimed that the case was fabricated and said that during the search in the Hall the lights were turned off for several minutes. Thus, the circumstances of the survey, which, according to believers, was intentionally carried out after it got dark, were confirmed.

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    September 11, 2018

    At the meeting, the billing of telephone connections of prosecution witness Viktor Popov, director of school No. 42 in Prokhladny, was examined. Popov was a witness during a search of the worship hall of Jehovah's Witnesses when banned literature was found there. He testified that he had received a call from "Anastasia Shtangeeva" urging him to "resort to the true faith."

    Olga Makarova, a resident of Prokhladny, a witness for the prosecution, said she attended meetings of Jehovah's Witnesses from July to August 2016. There, in her words, "she was treated well," but Zalipaev "made bad statements against Islam and Christianity." Zalipayev "spoke inappropriately against Islam, against Muslims" and called for "psychological and physical influence on persons professing other religions," "said to beat," Makarova said. She could not recall the exact statements, but indicated that the August 2009 magazine "Awake!" had been distributed at the meetings. Makarova said she was "advised" to distribute literature, and in August, together with a woman "who looked like a parishioner," she handed out "thin pamphlets like leaflets" in Mayskoye, the contents of which she also could not remember. At first, Makarova said that she had received literature from Zalipaev. Then - that the publications were freely available in the lobby of the worship building and they "could be taken by any parishioner." According to Makarova, she learned that the literature was "extremist" during a search of the building. By extremism, Makarova means that believers "are good speakers, they involve them well in their organization, they promote their faith." When asked what was embarrassing in the literature itself, Makarova replied: "It's intuitive ... Once closed, it means that something is wrong. Makarova also communicated with Anastasia, as she stated, only by phone and "to Jehovah's Witnesses."

    Witness Vitaly Beriev said that he and a friend received from a certain woman several magazines "Awake!" and "The Watchtower" from 15-20 years ago, which looked "as if they had been taken out of old vaults." They threw the magazines into the trash can, not reading. He said that he also received a phone call from a woman to talk about religious topics, and confirmed that he knew from his work with FSB officer Svetikov. Beriev could not explain why he was invited as a witness for the search.

    The key witness for the prosecution, Yevgeny Kireev, was interrogated, after whose statement a search was conducted in the liturgical building. According to him, Zalipayev at religious meetings encouraged moral pressure on representatives of other faiths, and during the search called for obstruction of the security forces. According to Kireyev, his son-in-law, a programmer, told him that Jehovah's Witnesses were an "extremist religion," after which they jointly filed a statement with law enforcement agencies. After that, Kireyev continued to attend meetings of Jehovah's Witnesses because "it was interesting." Kireyev told the court that even before he began his visits to worship meetings, he had received a phone call from "Anastasia Shtangeeva," whom he described as "Zalipayev's right-hand man." During the search, according to Kireyev, believers indignantly declared that the literature found by the security forces had been planted.

    Testimony was also given by the head of the search in the Kingdom Hall, an employee of the CPE of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the CBD, Timur Tligachev. The search was carried out after "they said that Zalipayev was distributing literature from the Ministry of Justice (meaning the federal list of extremist materials)," Tligachev explained. As he claimed, during the search he was insulted by believers. How exactly, Tligachev found it difficult to say. Having found the literature, the officers called the investigative-operational group - "there was an instruction from above." Who gave it, Tligachev did not remember.

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    September 24, 2018

    Arsen Getokov, who ensured road safety near the worship room, where the security forces seized religious literature, spoke in court. According to him, he did not know about the essence of what was happening, but he did not see any riots during the search. Getokov said he had never heard of Jehovah's Witnesses attacking Orthodox Christians and Muslims.

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    October 19, 2018

    The testimony was given by Mikhail Romensky, the director of the school in the village of Kotlyarevskaya, who was a witness during the inspection of the liturgical building. He told how the search took place, and also stated that before these events, a girl named Anastasia "called for a long time, had conversations about faith." He also confirmed that he was familiar with the FSB officer Svetikov, from whose number the same Anastasia called.

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    October 21, 2018

    Prosecution witness Kochesokova, deputy director for educational work at Gymnasium No. 2, said that in 2016 she received three Awake! magazines for 2009 from a woman "who wanted to talk about Jehovah's Witnesses." A year later, Kochesokova was summoned for interrogation, where she was told that these publications were extremist. Kochesokova did not explain how investigators found out she had these logs. Kochesokova, she claims, is not familiar with the law enforcement officer Sergei Svetikov, who participated in the search of the worship premises. According to Kochesokova, on a phone number belonging to Svetikov, she called up a woman Anastasia.

    On that day, FSB officer Sergei Svetikov, who, according to the defense, is the organizer of provocations and falsifications against Jehovah's Witnesses, was questioned in court. He explained that he met Anastasia in the store in 2012 - the girl asked the security officer to issue a SIM card to him, because she did not take her passport with her. This explains the fact that Anastasia called from his number, the FSB officer considered. According to Svetikov's testimony, "Anastasia Shtangeeva" "is a representative of the LRO of Jehovah's Witnesses in Mayskoye" (the constituent documents do not confirm this), is trying to establish the phones of law enforcement officers and recruit them, and also tried to find his namesakes and call them. Svetikov told the court his version of how the search in the building took place. According to him, believers, including Zalipaev, "hindered the work" of the operatives. As it turned out, the "obstacle" was either verbal or consisted in the fact that the believers filmed what was happening on video. Svetikov claimed that law enforcement officers used force against those who, during their visit to the worship building, "climbed to fight." Why there is not a single protocol on the attack on law enforcement officers, Svetikov did not explain. During the search of the worship building, there were dozens of believers who were forced by the security forces to delete video recordings of events filmed on mobile devices. According to Svetikov, the believers deleted the records only voluntarily. True, the security official clarified that "until they show it, no one left; Those who deleted the videos were free to leave."

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    November 22, 2018

    The court, in the presence of Tligachev, an employee of the Center for Countering Extremism of Kabardino-Balkaria, examined the materials of the case on bringing the local religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses in the city of Maysky to administrative responsibility. The case was initiated after law enforcement officers planted banned literature in the building for worship meetings on August 20, 2016. The defense drew attention to the fact that there are corrections in the Building Inspection Report, which may indicate subsequent falsification. Tligachev said that he did not see them.

    At this point, the prosecution concluded the presentation of evidence.

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    December 7, 2018

    The defense began to present evidence. Frame-by-frame review of videos filmed in the house where the services were held revealed that the security forces began inspecting the building without witnesses. On the bench in the lobby, where the banned publications were later discovered, there was only one item - the Bible. The witnesses appear in the frame much later - right before the moment when the FSB officer Svetikov allegedly finds 17 more magazines and brochures on the specified bench, in addition to the Bible.

    Residents of the city of Prokhladny, Arkady Akopyan and Anton Tumakov, were interrogated as witnesses, who confirmed that the FSB officer Svetikov personally gave them a phone number, the use of which he is now trying to hide. Information about telephone conversations proved that calls were made from this number to all participants in the criminal case.

    Witness Kirill Gushchin, a resident of the town of Mayskoye, was interrogated. He described in detail how the divine services of the believers were held. He stated that Yuriy Zalipayev never handed out banned literature, and also never spoke negatively about Muslims and Orthodox Christians. According to Gushchin, such behavior is basically impossible for those who profess the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses. Gushchin said that on the days indicated by the prosecution, Zalipayev read to believers announcements about the next publications included in the federal list of extremist materials. He encouraged believers to destroy such literature.

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    December 10, 2018

    5 defense witnesses were questioned. Witnesses described in detail how the services with the participation of Yuriy Zalipayev were actually held in the summer of 2016. From these testimonies, it is clear that Zalipayev did not make any speeches at all on those dates when, according to the indictment, he allegedly "called for the prohibition of Muslims and Orthodox Christians from visiting mosques and churches." It can also be seen that Olga Makarova did not attend the service on these dates, who, according to the prosecution, heard such a speech. Believers reported that religious literature was not used in the summer of 2016, as it stopped arriving in Russia. Moreover, the old issues of the magazines "Awake!", which fell under the injunction, were destroyed by believers in their libraries. Witness Tatiana Gradvol described in detail how she recorded the actions of law enforcement officers on August 20, 2016. The recording was re-viewed with the participation of a witness, and again it was certified that there was no banned literature in the building at the time of the arrival of the staff. More than an hour passed before the literature appeared on the bench, during which the security forces forcibly took the believers out one by one, took away mobile devices, preventing them from recording, and after clearing the foyer of those present, locked themselves there, eliminating the possibility of observing the fact of the planting.

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    December 25, 2018

    On that day, 4 defense witnesses were questioned. The interrogation of witness Agarina, who on August 20, 2016, filmed the security forces during searches in the worship building, lasted especially long and with two interruptions. The judge bombarded Agarin with questions and did not listen to the answers. This behavior of the presiding judge during the interrogation raised an objection from the defense.

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    January 22, 2019

    The prosecutor asked to terminate the proceedings in the part of the charge against Yuri Zalipayev under the article on incitement to hatred and enmity (part 1 of article 282 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) and on the continuation of the prosecution in the part of the charge of public calls for extremist activities (part 1 of article 280 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). The defense objected to the termination of the proceedings on non-rehabilitative grounds. According to the defense, the court should fully investigate the circumstances of the case and acquit the defendant, giving him the right to rehabilitation.

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    January 23, 2019

    The judge terminated the criminal proceedings on charges of inciting hatred and enmity due to the absence of corpus delicti in his actions. The court recognized the believer's right to rehabilitation, including compensation for moral damage and legal expenses. The charge of calling for extremist activity against Zalipayev is still not dropped.

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    February 5, 2019

    In connection with the filing of an appeal by the prosecutor, the court hearings were postponed until March 13, 2019.

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    March 13, 2019

    The hearing in the Supreme Court of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic was postponed to March 15, 2019 at 10:00. The Court of Appeal must answer the question: is Yuriy Zalipayev entitled to compensation in the event that the prosecutor refuses to prove the validity of the earlier charges?

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    March 15, 2019

    The Supreme Court of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic secured Yuriy Zalipayev's right to rehabilitation in connection with the refusal of the prosecutor's office to further prosecute him under Part 1 of Article 282 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. However, under Part 1 of Article 280 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, the persecution of the believer continues. The Maysky District Court of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic will continue its hearings on March 21, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.

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    March 25, 2019

    The court heard the arguments of five defense witnesses. Witnesses described in detail how worship services of believers were actually held in 2016, at which negative statements about Orthodox Christians and Muslims were allegedly made. According to them, the topics discussed were completely far from what the prosecution witnesses reported, and concerned the topics of Christian perseverance, manifestations of love and good deeds, hope for the resurrection of dead loved ones, the fight against bad habits, etc.

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    April 9, 2019

    The court questioned seven witnesses for the defence. Some reported that they had known Zalipayev for more than 40 years and were convinced that the hate speech attributed to the defendant did not correspond to either his essence or the faith in which he lives. According to them, Zalipayev taught others to avoid conflicts and set an example in this, making concessions for the sake of peace with other people. He maintains good relations with numerous relatives, including those professing Orthodoxy and Islam. Even when raising children, Zalipayev used only a calm word, without resorting to shouting and, especially, assault, witnesses said.

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    April 10, 2019

    The questioning of witnesses has entered the final stage. At the hearing, the court heard six more defense witnesses: children, relatives and neighbors of Yuri Zalipaev. The court attached to the case the conclusions of a religious scholar and linguist, which stated that he had not uttered the statements attributed to Zalipayev because they did not correspond to his individual speech characteristics and the doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses. It was also stated that the previous linguistic examination was carried out in violation of the law and methodology.

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    May 6, 2019
    The Maysky District Court of the KBR continued its consideration of the criminal case on charges of Yuri Zalipayev of "public calls for extremist activities" (part 1 of article 280 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). During the court session, in the presence of many listeners from 3 cities, the court reproduced audio recordings of 5 services with the participation of Zalipaev and examined their transcripts. The materials corroborated the testimony of defense witnesses and refuted the statement of prosecution witnesses. Zalipaev's speeches not only do not include unscientific speculation and calls for threats and violence, but, on the contrary, are full of quoting the opinions of scientists and are replete with condemnation of violence.
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    May 7, 2019
    The court devoted the hearing to the study of data on telephone connections of the participants in the criminal case of Yuri Zalipaev.
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    May 8, 2019
    The court questioned the defendant. Yuriy Zalipaev told how he searched for God, attending services of different religions. He maintained friendly relations with the faithful he met in the Orthodox and Pentecostal churches. He also has good relations with his Muslim neighbors. The words attributed to him could not have been uttered by any of Jehovah's Witnesses at all. According to Yuri, if a Christian elder of Jehovah's Witnesses had made an appeal to his fellow believers to threaten and beat Muslims and Orthodox Christians, he could not have remained an elder. Jehovah's Witnesses would no longer consider him their brother in faith. It is impossible to persuade them to violence. Yuri said that Jehovah God, as he appears in the Bible, is a peaceful God who expects his servants not to repay evil for evil. The hearings will continue on May 14 at 10:00 a.m.
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    May 14, 2019
    The court investigated the billing of the phones of prosecution witnesses Yevgeny Kireev and Viktor Popov. Billing revealed that the witnesses acted together with witness Olga Makarova under the supervision of FSB officer Sergei Svetikov. In addition, on this day, diplomas and commendations awarded to Yuri Zalipaev and his family members were examined. Finally, the court examined several rulings of the European Court of Human Rights on Jehovah's Witnesses' complaints of persecution (sometimes for years) for refusing violence, from serving in the armed forces, or simply from wearing military uniforms. The European Court emphasized that the conviction of Jehovah's Witnesses in the unacceptability of violence is irresistible. This completely negates the empty accusation that Yuriy Zalipayev allegedly called for beating people of a different religion.
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    May 15, 2019
    The court examined the documents characterizing the prosecution witnesses Svetikov S.A., Makarova O.V., Popov V.M., Kochesokova R.M. as persons whose reputation raises doubts about their veracity. For example, the court examined the verdict handed down to prosecution witness Olga Makarova on the fact of embezzlement of trade union funds; she was under investigation during the very period (summer of 2016) when, on the instructions of the FSB, she attended services of Jehovah's Witnesses. In addition, FSB officer Sergei Svetikov was previously accused of involvement in unjustified criminal prosecution and exerting pressure on witnesses.
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    June 3, 2019

    The court hears Galina Ivanenko, Candidate of Philological Sciences, as a specialist in the case. She draws attention to the fact that the style of statements imputed to Yuri Zalipaev differs from the style of his speeches. She also notes that it is impossible to conduct a high-quality examination without considering the statements of the defendant himself, based only on their retelling by other people.

    The prosecution asks to appoint a psychological and linguistic examination. The defense objects, drawing attention to the meaninglessness of the examination in this case. The court retires to the deliberation room until the next day.

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    June 4, 2019

    The court appoints a psychological and linguistic religious examination at the Russian Federal Center for Forensic Examination under the Ministry of Justice of Russia. Yuriy Zalipayev continues to be under recognizance not to leave.

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    June 20, 2019

    The Court examines and attaches to the case the Opinion of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which indicates that there is no evidence that Jehovah's Witnesses are prone to violence.

    It turns out that the mobile operator has lost data on the connections of prosecution witness Olga Makarova. These data could serve as evidence that from June 11 to June 20, 2016, the woman did not attend services in Mayskoye and, therefore, could not hear the calls for religious hatred that are imputed to Zalipaev.

    The parties declare that the provision of evidence has been completed.

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    July 19, 2019

    The next hearing is scheduled for 04.02.2020.

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    February 4, 2020

    In connection with the receipt of information from the expert institution that the deadline for the completion of a comprehensive psychological, linguistic, religious examination has been extended until April 2020, the court postpones the hearing until 10:00 on May 6, 2020.

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    May 20, 2020

    A series of searches are taking place in Mayskoye. Security forces invade the homes of local believers. After the searches, at least one man and several women were taken to the security forces for interrogation. Their fate is currently unknown.

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    August 24, 2020

    In the Maysky district court of the KBR, a hearing is being held in the case of Yuri Zalipaev. Via videoconference with the Basmanny Court of Moscow and Makhachkala, the court interrogates experts from the Russian Federal Center for Forensic Expertise under the Ministry of Justice of Russia - Vitaly Kuznetsov, Head of the Forensic Linguistic Examination Laboratory, and Tatyana Sekerage, Head of the Forensic Psychological Examination Laboratory, Roman Lunkin, a religious scholar from Moscow, Doctor of Sciences Roman Lunkin, and a linguist from Dagestan, Senior Lieutenant Dinara Adzhamatova.

    Moscow experts identify the problem of applying scientific research methods to the statements attributed to Yuri Zalipaev by the investigation, since for their analysis there is not enough accurate data on who exactly uttered them, where, when, to whom, in what context and for what purpose.

    According to regional expert Dinara Adzhamatova, her goal was not to solve expert problems, but only to analyze the text provided by the investigator, since she considered the believer's guilt already proven.

    The prosecutor considers it necessary to conduct a re-examination and asks for at least 10 days to clarify the application. The judge gives the prosecutor two days and schedules the next hearing for August 26, 2020.

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    August 26, 2020

    The state prosecutor submits a petition for re-examination. He asks to entrust its production to teachers of the Bashkir State University and Lyceum No. 106 of the city of Ufa. The defense objects, considering the conclusions of the Russian Federal Center for Forensic Examination under the Ministry of Justice of Russia to be sufficiently substantiated.

    The court retires to the deliberation room to make a decision. The announcement of the decision based on the results of consideration of the petition is scheduled for August 28, 2020.

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    August 28, 2020

    The judge of the Maisky district court, Elena Kudryavtseva, refuses to appoint a re-examination to the state prosecutor.

    The court reveals violations in the examination conducted by Dinara Adzhamatova and recognizes her conclusion as inadmissible evidence.

    Taking into account the request of the state prosecutor for time to prepare for the debate, the court schedules the hearing for September 18, 2020.

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    September 18, 2020
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    September 21, 2020 Prosecutor requested punishment

    During the debate of the parties, prosecutor Irina Bagova requests a sentence of 2 years in prison for Yuriy Zalipaev. The believer's lawyer Anton Omelchenko and Yuriy himself, speaking in the debate, emphasize that not a single word of enmity or hatred was found in Zalipaev's words. The Maysky District Court of Kabardino-Balkaria intends to announce the verdict on October 7, at 10:00.

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    October 7, 2020 First Instance Sentence

    Judge of the Maysky District Court of Kabardino-Balkaria Elena Kudryavtseva fully acquits Yuriy Zalipaev. The verdict will come into force if the prosecutor's office does not appeal against it.

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    November 12, 2020

    In the city of Maysky (Kabardino-Balkaria), a new search is underway in the family of Yuri Zalipaev. Earlier, on October 7, he was fully acquitted by the Maysky District Court under Part 1 of Article 280 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. This time, the interest of law enforcement officers was aroused by Vadim, Yuri's son.

    Among the security forces is Sergey Svetikov, an employee of the FSB for the CBD, whom believers and their lawyers have repeatedly accused of falsifying operational materials.

    According to preliminary information, searches were also carried out at five addresses of believers in the city of Tyrnyauz. Details are being specified.

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    November 18, 2020

    Yuriy Zalipaev submits an appeal to the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation. In it, he reports on the illegal actions of investigator Sergei Svetikov, who searched his home on November 12, 2020.

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    November 27, 2020

    In connection with the illness of Yuri Zalipayev, the appeal hearing on the prosecutor's complaint, scheduled for that day in the Supreme Court of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic, was postponed. The disease developed after the Zalipayev family spent the entire day on November 12, 2020 in the corridors and offices of law enforcement agencies. All family members showed signs of coronavirus infection: loss of smell, fever, chest and kidney pain.

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    December 11, 2020 Court of Appeal

    The hearing was postponed to January 15, 2021.

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    January 11, 2021

    In response to Yuriy Zalipayev's appeal, Lieutenant Colonel of Justice I.Y. Vertyanov, Deputy Head of the Military Investigation Department for the Southern Military District (316th Military Investigation Department), reports that Svetikov's actions revealed signs of a crime under Part 1 of Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (abuse of office, if committed: a) with the use of violence or with the threat of its use; b) with the use of weapons or special means; c) with the infliction of grave consequences).

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    January 14, 2021 Court of Appeal

    The hearing was postponed to January 22, 2021.

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    January 22, 2021 Court of Appeal

    Yuriy Zalipayev delivers his final speech in the Supreme Court of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic. He thanks the court for the opportunity to participate in the hearing, despite his illness, and draws attention to the real reason for the appearance of his criminal case: "I am one of Jehovah's Witnesses! That is why my family and I are being subjected to unlawful and unfair persecution." He adds that no amount of attacks will shake his faith or deprive him of hope that the times of persecution will soon be a thing of the past.

    After hearing the arguments of the believer, Judge Fatimat Chechenova issues an appeal ruling - to uphold the acquittal verdict handed down by the Maysky District Court of Kabardino-Balkaria on October 7, 2020. Thus, Yuriy Zalipayev is finally found not guilty of calling for extremist activities. The acquittal shall enter into force.

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    February 25, 2021

    Prosecutor Lukyanov A.V. makes an official apology to Yuriy Zalipaev for the harm caused by the unjust criminal prosecution.

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    May 20, 2021

    A hearing is being held in the Fifth Court of Cassation of General Jurisdiction, located in Pyatigorsk. More than 10 people come to the courthouse, but only the believer and his lawyer are allowed to attend the hearing. A panel of 3 judges chaired by Sergey Leontiev and judges Svetlana Kharrasova and Andrey Zhelezny rejects the prosecutor's appeal against the verdict and finally acquits Yuriy Zalipaev.

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    July 5, 2021

    Alla Grinenko, judge of the Maysky District Court of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic, is collecting 1,000,000 rubles from the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation in favor of Yuri Zalipaev as compensation for moral damage.

    The court proceeded from the fact that a negative assessment of a citizen by the state, an accusation of actions that are not consistent with generally accepted norms of behavior in themselves presuppose the presence of moral suffering. In addition, due to the criminal prosecution, which lasted more than four years, Yuriy Zalipaev could not work and was interrupted by odd jobs. During numerous interrogations, he experienced prolonged psychological pressure. The believer was under recognizance not to leave for 898 days and could not move freely.

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    September 23, 2021

    The Supreme Court of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic on appeal reduces the amount of compensation for moral damage to Yuri Zalipayev to 500,000 rubles. This decision takes effect immediately. The amount of compensation for non-pecuniary damage does not include coverage of legal costs.