Photo: St. Petersburg City Court (2018)

Seizure of Property

In St. Petersburg, the date of the appeal in the case of the seizure of the cult complex in the village of Solnechnoye has been set

St. Petersburg

On May 3, 2018, the St. Petersburg City Court (second instance) will consider the appeal of the Watch Tower, Bibles, and Tracts Society of Pennsylvania, the owner of the cult complex worth about 2 billion rubles.

On December 7, 2017, after a 4-hour court hearing , the Sestroretsky District Court of St. Petersburg (first instance) concluded that the 18- and 8-year-old transactions for the acquisition of real estate by the Watch Tower Company were invalid. The court turned this property into state ownership, referring to the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, adopted in relation to another legal entity that had been operating in Russia since 1991.

It is noteworthy that earlier the state checked these transactions and did not find any violations in them. For 15 years, the Watch Tower Society paid high taxes to the treasury of the Russian Federation associated with the ownership of the complex.

The Pennsylvania Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society has been active since 1884 and serves the interests of Jehovah's Witnesses around the world. It is obvious that the decision of the Sestroretsky District Court of St. Petersburg is aimed at illegally depriving him of property rights on far-fetched grounds. Such a precedent clearly indicates the real risks of illegal seizure of real estate acquired in Russia, even despite the foreign or international status of the owner.

The appeal hearing will begin on May 3, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. in the City Court building at 6 Basseynaya Street in St. Petersburg.