Gennady Shpakovskiy with his wife Tatyana

Criminal trial

The Pskov Prosecutor Asked to Imprison Gennadiy Shpakovskiy for Record 7.5 Years for Faith in Jehovah. The Verdict Will Be Announced on June 8

Pskov Region

On June 1, 2020, 61-year-old Gennadiy Shpakovskiy, speaking at the last word in Pskov City Court, did not plead guilty to extremism and stressed that he is under the trial purely for his faith. The prosecutor asked for 7.5 years in a general regime colony and 1.5 years of freedom restrictions.

Referring to repeated decisions of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention of the UN Human Rights Council demanding a halt to repression against Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, Gennadiy Shpakovskiy filed an application with the prosecutor's office and the court to stop the criminal case. Judge Galina Belik did not find it necessary to take this into account.

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The last word of Gennadiy Shpakovsky

At the court hearing, the prosecutor asked for Gennadiy's longest term, which was announced in the courts during the religious persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in modern Russia - 7.5 years in a general regime colony with subsequent restriction of liberty of 1.5 years.

After the debate, the prosecutor's and Gennadiy Shpakovskiy's closing remarks, judge Belik left to deliver the verdict, which is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on June 8, 2020.

Update. On June 8, Judge Belik postponed the announcement of the verdict to 9:00 on June 9.

Gennadiy Shpakovskiy is charged with organizing and financing a banned organization (article 282. 2 (1) и 282. 3 (1) OF THE CRIMINAL CODE). The initiation of criminal proceedings against him became known 2 years ago after humiliating mass searches of believers in Pskov. Before that, he had been followed for several months, collecting "evidence". - evidence that he continues to read the Bible with believers and speak to other residents about God.

Case of Shpakovskiy in Pskov

Case History
Since the beginning of 2018, 60-year-old Gennady Shpakovsky has been under surveillance. In the summer of the same year, the Investigative Department of the FSB Directorate for the Pskov Region opened a criminal case against a peaceful believer. In June, the Pskov FSB, with the support of the armed National Guard, conducted a series of searches of local believers, including Gennady. He was accused of organizing and financing extremist activities. After 2 years of investigations and trials, the judge of the Pskov City Court, Galina Belik, sentenced Shpakovsky to 6.5 years in prison, although there were no victims in the case. One of the prosecution witnesses appealed to the judge with a request: “Please do not punish him severely, because he is not guilty of anything!” On August 3, 2020, the Court of Appeal replaced the prison term with a suspended sentence.

Persons in case

Criminal case

Pskov Region
Suspected of:
according to the investigation, together with others he conducted religious services, which is interpreted as “organising the activity of an extremist organisation” (with reference to the decision of the Russian Supreme Court to liquidate all 396 registered organisations Jehovah’s Witnesses).
Court case number:
May 31, 2018
Current case stage:
the verdict entered into force
Investigative Department of the Directorate of the FSB for the Pskov Region
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (1), 282.3 (1)
Court case number:
Псковский городской суд Псковской области
Case History