RUSSIA: (5 April 2017) Jehovah's Witnesses hearing under way
The trial has begun. The crowd on the street (see photo) is now inside and the gallery is packed.
Yesterday Jehovah's Witnesses presented a written legal argument - "Objections to the administrative claim of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation" - to the Supreme Court of Russia which, in paragraph 254, argued that if the Ministry for Justice liquidates and bans the activities of Jehovah's Witnesses then this will force individual members to renounce or abandon their religion for fear of persecution.
Feed of the proceedings:https://jw-russia.org/news/17040510-129.html
Big beautiful courtroom crowded. There are more than 200 people, including many journalists, representatives of public organizations and foreign embassies. The hearing began at 10:30.
A little less than 250 people were left on the street waiting for the results of the hearing. Cook Street in Moscow is filled with cars with transmitting television antennas. Occurring remove numerous chamber. Of police radios periodically hear the message "All is calm, without incident." In the hall representatives of embassies and international organizations in the headphones listening to the process of translation.
The case was heard Judge Yuri Ivanenko. The defendant, "the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia" are 6 persons, including Vasily Kalin of the Steering Committee, as well as lawyers. The representative of Ministry of Justice of Russia - Svetlana Borisova. Attached to the case with the defendant's objections to the applications in 35 volumes.
The court allowed the photographing and video recording only when the announcement of the final act. However, there is no record of obstacles. In the hall there are about 40 members of the media, they occupy the first rows of the audience.
11:00 The court refused to accept a counter claim for recognition of the Ministry of Justice acts of political repression. The judge described the passage of objections to the claim sufficient measure of protection for the defendant. 11:15 Representatives of Jehovah's Witnesses apply for admission to participation in the case of representatives of all 395 local religious organizations. Lawyer little wife: "If believers throughout Russia will be deprived of their rights, let them hear it here in court." Local religious organizations, contrary to the logic of the Ministry of Justice, are not the structural units of each other, but separate legal entities. 11:20 The lawyer Lew gives an example: "The logic of the Ministry of Justice, it turns out, it is necessary to impose a sentence: Shoot chieftain. And his whole platoon. " 11:25 The court rejected the enlistment of the 395 local organizations as a respondent. 11:30 Jehovah's Witnesses have asked the court to allow audio broadcasting the trial. The court refused. 11:35 Lawyers for the Jehovah's Witnesses are asking the court to adjourn the hearing pending the outcome of another case in another court. It is an appeal to the Court of Justice order the suspension of the activities of organizations . 11:42 The Ministry of Justice objected, because it believes that the authorities had every right to suspend the activities of organizations. 11:45 The court refused to postpone the hearing.
Thanks for that link Drearyweather. Good to be able to follow along. It doesn't seem to have gone the JW's way thus far.
12.33 PM Moscow time.
The court has retired to the deliberation room. All attempts by the Jehovah's Witnesses for an adjournment have failed.
Interestingly the JWs applied to have 395 other legal entities of Jehovah's Witnesses added as defendants. The argument was that if the decision affects all JW legal entities then they all should be present. Rejected.
Just curious. JWs would refer to themselves as a single unified organization. It sounds odd, to me, to hear of them having 395 legal entities. Is that 'normal,' legally speaking?
No that seems to be how they are set up now. There was an interesting explanation in a recent podcast where i heard how in Australia it seemed like every congregation was a separate entity and therefore it could potentially make it difficult when suing the organisation for large child abuse payments. Money gets syphoned off from these entities in complicated ways to different other parts of the organisation & it makes it difficult for anyone to trace it or get hold of it. Someone else may be able to give a better idea but that's the jist. Its not normal, I don't think most other churches do it this way, but i can see why JW's might want to do it.
Yes, even in India each congregation is registered as a separate registered religious trust with a trust deed and a separate legal identity.
Thanks CW and DW!
In the Russian courtroom today:
google consistently translates the Jw lawyer as little wife for some reason.
Lawyer little wife seeks the suspension