Defendant in St. Petersburg Church of Scientology case put under house arrest
ST. PETERSBURG, June 9 (RAPSI, Mikhail Telekhov) – The Nevsky District Court of St. Petersburg ruled to put an employee of the Church of Scientology in St. Petersburg, Constance Yesaulkova, under house arrest, RAPSI reports from the courtroom on Friday.
Yesaulkova is charged with participating in an extremist organization, illegal business, inciting hatred and enmity, and violation of human dignity. She is an assistant for another defendant in the case Anastasia Terentyeva, but allegedly she also distributed money obtained by the group on the order of its head Ivan Matsitsky, an investigator said in court.
On Thursday, the court ruled to detain Matsisky and executive director of Church of Scientology of St. Petersburg, Galina Shurinova charged with the same crimes as Yesaulkova. According to the Federal Security Service (FSB), Shurinova is the main manager of Church of Scientology of St. Petersburg, who exercises control over cash inflow.
From 2013 to 2016, the organization received over 276 million rubles ($4.9 million) for rendering its services. However, the Church of Scientology of St. Petersburg has not been incorporated under the law, an FSB representative noted in court earlier.
On Wednesday, the court detained two other managers of Church of Scientology of St. Petersburg, Anastasia Terentyeva and Sakhib Aliev.
On June 6, the Federal Security Service’s (FSB) officers raided the Church of Scientology of St. Petersburg as part of investigation into illegal business operations, incitement of hatred and enmity, and organization of an extremist community. Five members of the religious group were arrested.
Dianetics and Scientology are a set of religious and philosophical ideas and practices that were put forth by L. Ron Hubbard in the US in the early 1950s.
The scientific community never recognized it as science.
A resolution passed in 1996 by the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, classified the Church of Scientology as a destructive religious organization.
The Moscow Regional Court ruled in 2012 that some of Hubbard’s books be included on the Federal List of Extremist Literature and prohibited from distribution in Russia.