30 September 2021, 10:32
Investigators charge former Ural schema-hegumen with fanning hatred
Yekaterinburg, September 30, Interfax - The Main Investigative Directorate of the Russian Investigative Committee on Wednesday charged Nikolay Romanov (former schema-hegumen Sergy) with fanning hatred, his lawyer Pavel Babikov told Interfax.
"Father Sergy has been charged with extremism today," Babikov said.
He said Romanov has been charged with a crime envisaged by Part 2 of Article 282 of the Russian Criminal Code (fanning hatred). Vsevolod Moguchev and an indefinite number of persons are also implicated in the case, besides Romanov. The case materials include several videos posted on the Internet.
The defense lawyers have already appealed the decision to open a criminal case in the Basmanny District Court of Moscow. The date of the appeal's consideration has yet to be determined.
"He conducted these sermons [in the videos included in the case] when he was still a priest and was not excommunicated," Babikov said, adding that his client had not disseminated any videos.
An informed source told Interfax earlier that Moguchev was arrested on September 1 as part of the inquiry against Romanov. Investigators are probing claims about video clips posted on the Internet, whose "video content propagated hatred and animosity toward Judaists and Muslims."
Moguchev has been charged under Article 282(2) and remanded in custody by the Leninsky District Court in Yekaterinburg until October 20, his lawyer told Interfax. He is being held at the pre-trial detention facility No.1 in Yekaterinburg.
Former schema-hegumen Sergy (Romanov) was defrocked in the summer of 2020 for violating his priestly oath, monastic vows, and several apostolic rules and church canons and excommunicated by the Church on September 10, 2020. He had repeatedly said that he would not leave the Sredneuralsky Convent, but was detained in late December 2020.
On December 29, 2020, Moscow's Basmanny District Court issued an arrest warrant for Romanov. He was charged with several criminal offenses: inducement to suicide, violation of the right to freedom of conscience and religion, and arbitrariness.
His case is being heard in Moscow.
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