PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE AIMS TO RETURN REAL ESTATE OF ANGARSK JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES TO STATE
The prosecutor of Angarsk sent to the city court a lawsuit with the request to return to state ownership a building and parcel of land previously belonging to a local religious organization of the Jehovah's Witnesses, which are banned in Russia, the prosecutor's office for Irkutsk oblast reported on Thursday.
"In 2017, by a decision of the Russian Supreme Court, the religious organization 'Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia' was liquidated along with the local religious organizations belonging to its structure. The property of the liquidated organization reverted to the ownership of the Russian federation on the basis of article 9 of the federal law "On combating extremist activity," the oversight agency recalled.
According to information from the prosecutor's office, the Angarsk local religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses had transferred the building and land in Angarsk, where worship services were conducted, to the ownership of Jehovah's Witnesses in Spain, on the basis of a donation agreement, before the adoption of the aforesaid judicial decision.
"The donation agreement was concluded not for socially useful purposes, as required by civil legislation, but with the goal of avoiding the loss of this property by reason of its reversion to the ownership of the RF. At the same time, the immovable property has remained in the effective ownership of the Angarsk local religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses on the basis of a contract for its use without charge," the report notes.
Therefore the prosecutor of Angarsk asks the court to rule the donation agreement to be invalid and to turn over the building and land of the Jehovah's Witnesses in the city to ownership by the Russian federation. (tr. by PDS, posted 30 January 2018)
— Russia Religion News. “Monitoring news media reports about religion in Russia and other countries of former USSR. This website is maintained by Emeritus Professor Paul D. Steeves of Stetson University.”