2021-01-27 17:02:00

Novosibirsk Region Court rules to keep defendants in Church of Last Testament case in custody

Novosibirsk, January 27, Interfax - The Novosibirsk Region Court has dismissed an appeal contesting the extension of a custodial term for leader of the Church of the Last Testament Sergey Torop, known by his followers as Vissarion, and his associates, according to a report published on the Telegram channel of the defense team in the Vissarion community case.

"The Novosibirsk Region Court dismissed the lawyers' appeals against the extension of the custodial terms for Vladimir Vedernikov, Vadim Redkin, and Sergey Torop. This ruling will be appealed," it said.

The Tsentralny District Court of Novosibirsk earlier extended the defendants' custody term until April 15.

The investigation into the case has been prolonged until April 15 as well.

The Church of the Last Testament was founded in the Krasnoyarsk Territory in 1991 by a local resident, Torop, who referred to himself as Vissarion. In 1995, the organization was given its current name and was registered with the Justice Ministry. The adherents of the movement also refer to themselves as the Community of Vissarion and live in several populated areas in the Kuragino District.

Torop and two other leaders, Redkin and Vedernikov, were arrested on September 21. They were charged with forming a religious group whose operation involves violence against citizens and inflicting grievous harm to the health of two or more people. Vedernikov faces only charges of forming a religious group the activities of which involve violence against citizens.

In late September, the Prosecutor's Office of the Krasnoyarsk Territory Prosecutors asked a court to shut down the Kuragino local religious organization Church of the Last Testament, saying that its operation "threatens the interests of the public and the state, encroaches on individual, civic rights and liberties, and risks causing damage to morality and public health."

As reported earlier, the Tsentralny District Court of Novosibirsk placed a freezing order on equipment, a building used for religious purposes, and the land plot on which Torop's house stands. A freezing order was also issued for two houses, a land plot, and equipment belonging to Redkin, as well as for a car, a trailer, an all-terrain vehicle, two land plots, two houses, and part of another house owned by Vedernikov.