Court overturned the decision of the magistrate: fined pastor to pay 30,000 rubels
The Khostinsky district court of Sochi overturned the decision of the magistrate, who fined the Protestant pastor Alexei Kolyasnikov to pay 30,000 rubles for reading the Bible in a coffee shop. Lawyer Alexander Popkov said that the decision was taken because “the magistrate had no legal grounds for consideration of the case,” reports The Christian Telegraph in reference to newsru.com.
“A decision, which was handed down by the incompetent judge, is revocable ... As a result of this, an administrative case was sent to Khostinsky District Court for a new trial,” said Popkov, reports “OVD-Info.”
The meeting will be held with the participation of the same judge on December 9, reports “Mediazona.” The attorney said that an administrative offense in the actions of his client is absent.
According to “Mediazona,” on September 28 Kolyasnikov rented a room in a coffee shop Bel Canto in Khostinsky district, near Sochi for religious meetings: the participants read aloud the Bible and had a discussion. At the end of the meeting the room was raided by men in civilian clothes, who introduced themselves as FSB officers, police and prosecutors.
The pastor, after being detained, got an administrative report on Part 2 of Article 20.2 of the Administrative Code (“Organization of public events without the filing of a notice on its holding”). The magistrate, after considering the case, appointed a maximum penalty of a fine of 30,000 rubles.
Note that before that incident happened “Novaya Gazeta” wrote about the case. The edition, referred to a document, which said that Sochi service FSB in connection with the incident asked the prosecutor's office to check the coffee shop by contacting Rospotrebnadzor (The Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Well-Being) and Roszdravnadzor (Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation).
According to a representative of the FSB, quoted by “Novaya Gazeta:” “the activities of pastors were watched by some people whose religious beliefs are based on the ideology of the pro-Western Protestant religious movements with the financial support of NATO and the European Union”, and pastor Kolyasnikov “acted in violation with the canons of Christianity, including approvals and notifications with the bodies of the municipality.”