The case of Shutov in Vyazemsky

Case History

In July 2021, the FSB in Khabarovsk opened a criminal case against Aleksandr Shutov for participating in the activities of an extremist organization. The house of Aleksandr and his wife was searched. Then the believer was interrogated and released on recognizance not to leave. In March 2022, Shutov’s case was brought to court. As evidence of the defendant’s guilt, the prosecution used the testimony of a witness who had previously been forced to give false testimony against two other believers. The prosecutor requested 3 years and 5 months for the believer. The court sentenced Aleksandr to 2 years and 5 months of suspended sentence with a probationary period of 2 years and restriction of liberty for 6 months.

  • #
    July 26, 2021

    D. S. Pozdnyakov, senior investigator-criminalist of the Investigative Department of the FSB of Russia in the Khabarovsk Territory, makes a decision to initiate a criminal case against 68-year-old Alexander Shutov under Part 2 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (participation in the activities of an extremist organization).

  • #
    July 30, 2021

    In the morning, the Shutov family is searched with the participation of the investigator of the investigation department of the FSB Directorate for the Khabarovsk Territory S.V. Nemtsev and the head of the FSB department for the Vyazemsky district Alexei Svetachev, as well as two detectives and witnesses.

    During the search, Aleksandr Shutov and his wife's blood pressure rises to dangerous levels. In this state, Alexander is taken away for interrogation, which lasts 2 hours. Investigator Nemtsev brings Shutov as a defendant in criminal case No. 12107080001000053. After interrogation, the believer is released on his own recognizance.

  • #
    August 3, 2021

    Aleksandr Shutov for his faith in God is included in the list of Rosfinmonitoring, a list of individuals related to extremist activities or terrorism. This means that certain financial restrictions are imposed on it.

  • #
    August 4, 2021 Search
  • #
    January 26, 2022

    The criminal case of Alexander Shutov is submitted for consideration on the merits to the Vyazemsky District Court of the Khabarovsk Territory.

  • #
    February 25, 2022

    The chairman of the Khabarovsk Regional Court, Olga Matulina, transfers the case materials against Alexander Shutov to the Lazo District Court of the Khabarovsk Territory. This happened because all the judges of the Vyazemsky District Court are already considering the criminal cases of other Jehovah's Witnesses from Vyazemsky and the evidence of their guilt and the guilt of Alexander Shutov overlap. Thus, Shutov's criminal case is to be transferred to the nearest district court.

  • #
    March 16, 2022 Hearing in a court of the first instance

    The case of Alexander Shutov goes to the court of the Lazo district of the Khabarovsk Territory, located in the village of Pereyaslavka. The believer, who will turn 70 in December 2022, will have to travel to court 80 km from home. The case has been assigned to judge Evgenia Stets.

  • #
    April 28, 2022 Hearing in a court of the first instance

    The hearings in the case of Alexander Shutov begin. The first session is held behind closed doors and lasts 15 minutes. The believer declares that he does not plead guilty. He refuses a lawyer by appointment.

  • #
    May 18, 2022 Hearing in a court of the first instance

    Shutov reads out a motion to ensure the publicity of the trial. The court satisfies his request and decides to hold the next hearings in public.

    The court appoints a lawyer for the believer.

  • #
    June 24, 2022 Hearing in a court of the first instance

    Shutov's wife and friends come to the court hearing.

    In connection with the failure of witnesses to appear, the question of reading out their testimony is raised, but the defense is against it. The meeting was adjourned.

  • #
    August 25, 2022 Hearing in a court of the first instance

    Witnesses are being questioned, including Ekaterina Leichunas, who was previously forced to act as a witness for the prosecution in the Baranov and Kuznetsov cases and give false testimony.

    Video recordings of witness interrogations are also being examined.

  • #
    September 20, 2022 Hearing in a court of the first instance

    The questioning of one of the prosecution witnesses continues, including his written testimony.

  • #
    October 26, 2022 Hearing in a court of the first instance

    Interrogation of witness Anna Kuznetsova and announcement of her testimony given at the preliminary investigation. According to the witness, she met the defendant at Jehovah's Witnesses services in 2008 and never met him again after the religious organization was banned in 2017. She reports that she treats the defendant well.

    Next, the prosecutor reads out the case materials.

  • #
    November 9, 2022 Hearing in a court of the first instance

    The court examines the evidence - audio recordings are listened to. Due to Alexander's poor health, the meeting was interrupted.

  • #
    November 21, 2022 Hearing in a court of the first instance

    Audio recordings are listened to.

    At the next hearing, it is planned to examine written evidence, interrogate a prosecution witness, as well as a secret witness.

  • #
    January 11, 2023 Hearing in a court of the first instance

    The prosecutor reads out the refusal of the secret witness to appear, as well as the conclusions of three examinations: sociological, political science and religious studies.

  • #
    May 10, 2023 Hearing in a court of the first instance

    Interrogation of a witness. Investigation of defense evidence. Announcement of the characteristics of the defendant from the district police officer and an extract about his health.

    At the next meeting, the debate of the parties and the speech of Alexander Shutov with the last word are planned.

  • #
    May 29, 2023 Prosecutor requested punishment Final statement

    The prosecutor requests a punishment for the believer in the form of 3 years and 5 months of imprisonment in a penal colony, as well as 10 months of restriction of freedom.

    Alexander Shutov delivers his last word. The believer emphasizes: "Yes, I know that God's name is Jehovah, and I do not hesitate to pronounce this name. But is that a crime?"

  • #
    June 9, 2023