Court finishes investigating Jehovah's Witnesses extremism case
NOVOSIBIRSK, October 7 - RAPSI. A court finished on Thursday a judicial investigation in the second trial of Jehovah's Witnesses' local head Alexander Kalistratov, who was charged with extremism, the defendant told RIA Novosti on Friday.
Investigators said Kalistratov distributed books, leaflets and magazines of "a strong extremist nature" aimed at discrediting other religions.
"Yesterday, the court finished reviewing the evidence and questioning the witnesses. The judicial investigation has been completed," Kalistratov said.
The Gorno-Altaysk City Court acquitted Kalistratov on April 14 after the prosecution failed to establish the crime. The Supreme Court of the Republic of Altai later canceled the acquittal judgment upon the prosecutor's office's request and remanded the case for reconsideration to the same court. The second trial started on June 22.
The court scheduled the next hearing for October 13.
Jehovah's Witnesses is an international religious organization. Many representatives of traditional religions consider it to be a totalitarian pseudo-Christian sect.
As of August 2009, the organization had about 7 million members. The organization's management for its Russian branch is located in St. Petersburg. The organization has 408 local sects.