Orel appeal hearing in case of Danish Jehovah’s Witness continued to 28 September.

Russia Religion News (21.09.2017) – – On 20 September 2017, after a four-hour session of the Orel provincial court, an appeal hearing in the case of the Dane Dennis Christensen, a Jehovah’s Witness who is being held in the SIZO of the city of Orel, was adjourned. The reason for this is that the court of the first instance did not deliver to the appeal a part of the evidence of the defense that had been examined during the consideration of the question of the extension of the detention.

The court of the first instance chose the harshest measure of restraint, suggesting without reason that Dennis Christensen could run away from the investigation and the court by leaving Russia. The lawyers pointed to the excessiveness of such a harsh measure of restraint. Investigators have confiscated the believer’s passport and therefore he cannot physically exit from Russia. A letter from the Danish consulate was attached to the case which says: “On the basis of humanitarian considerations, the Royal Embassy of Denmark in Moscow, in supporting the petition . . . for substituting for the means of restraint in the form of detention in custody another means of restraint, gives assurances that the Royal Embassy of Denmark in Moscow will not provide a new passport to D.O. Christensen and will not assist D.O. Christensen in leaving the territory of the Russian federation.”

The believer is suspected of continuing the activity of the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses, which was liquidated by a court. In seeking his complete acquittal, at this stage the lawyers are asking the appellate court to select for Dennis Christensen a measure of restraint in the form of bail or house arrest. The appellate hearing will resume in the Orel provincial court on 28 September 2017 at 14:00.  (tr. by PDS, posted 21 September 2017)


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