2017-10-18 17:12:00

Moscow court declines defense lawyers' appeal against arrest of Christian State leader Kalinin

Moscow, October 18, Interfax - The Moscow City Court has upheld the arrest of Alexander Kalinin, leader of the Christian State organization, who is charged with trying to deter movie theaters from screening the movie Matilda, an Interfax correspondent reported.

"The decision made by the Moscow Tagansky District Court on September 23 is upheld, the appeal filed by defense lawyer Savchenko is declined," the court said in its decision read on Wednesday.

Thus, Kalinin will stay in custody until November 22.

In his appeal, Dmitry Savchenko, a defense lawyer for Kalinin, asked the court to reverse the decision to put his client in custody and place him under house arrest.

The lawyer said Kalinin had no intention to hide from investigators and the court, had responded to summons from law enforcement agencies at first request from the beginning of this year and is characterized positively.

Kalinin told the court he does not consider himself a criminal and said the charges against him are "just a pretext to keep him in custody."

"As a citizen of Russia and a believer, I had no right to be silent. By sending those letters I wanted to warn the owners of movie theaters that they would involuntarily become accomplices in a crime. There was no coercion to refuse the deal. The film received a screening certificate eight months after the letters were sent. I am not a criminal, I love Russia and God," Kalinin said.

The prosecutor, for his part, had objected to granting the request made by the Christian State leader.

Christian State leader Alexander Kalinin was detained on September 23 as part of an investigation into attempts to deter film providers from screening Alexey Uchitel's film Matilda. The Moscow Tagansky District Court arrested him until November 22 on the same day. He was charged with fanning hatred or feud or belittling a person's dignity.

Kalinin denies his guilt but does not deny that he has sent letters with threats to movie theaters for religious reasons.