09 May 2024, 23:26

Prosecution has no more proofs in Kalmyk Jehovah's Witnesses'* case

Two of the prosecution witnesses in the case of Kishta Tutinova, Tsagan Khalgaeva and Ekaterina Menkova have failed to appear in court, but the prosecutor did not insist on their appearance. Tutinova is under threat of up to ten years in jail; Khalgaeva and Menkova – up to six years.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that in March 2023, a court in Elista, the capital of Kalmykia, placed Kishta Tutinova, a Jehovah's Witness*, under house arrest on charges of organizing extremist activities. The court watched the videos of conversations secretly filmed by law enforcers, in which the women, while talking about weather and recipes, discussed biblical quotes. None of those interrogated had confirmed that Kishta Tutinova, Tsagan Khalgaeva and Ekaterina Menkova ever made extremist statements.

After the decision of the Russian Supreme Court (SC) to liquidate religious organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses*, the conviction of Tutinova, Khalgaeva and Menkova was not the first criminal case initiated in Kalmykia against believers of this confession.

"The defence has presented positive characteristics and diplomas ... that characterize the believers and their peaceful views. They have no conflicts with the law, and they respect the public order," Evgenia Smelova, a Kishta Tutinova's advocate, has emphasized.

Naran, Tutinova's son, has stated that his mother is very worried about the criminal prosecution. "She didn't express anything (extremist), and she didn't persuade anyone to do anything. She believed in God – thus, everyone has one's own faith," he has stated.

*396 Russian organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses are recognized as extremist, and their activities in Russia are banned by court's decision.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on May 9, 2024 at 01:08 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Source: СK correspondent

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