Emmanuel Thomas l Wednesday, April 12, 2017
MOSCOW, Russia – Counsels to the Russian Ministry of Justice and those of Jehovah’s Witnesses continued to prove their case at the Russian Supreme Court in the suit filed by the Ministry to outlaw Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation in Russia on allegation that they are extremists.
In the last hearing on April 6, the ministry failed to tender documents to prove their case beyound resonable doubts that the Witnesses are extremists.
At today’s hearing, representatives of the Russian government could not furnish the court with legal basis to lquidate Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation. The court adjourned the session in the afternoon for seven(7) days after accomodatimg arguments from both parties in the morning.
The court will now resume at 10 am on April 19, 2017 for further arguments. Attorneys for Jehovah’s Witnesses opened with arguments in defense of the Administrative Center, followed by a cross-examination from attorneys representing the Ministry of Justice.
Reacting to evidence presented by the defense, the judge requested the Ministry of Justice to identify the specific legal basis for liquidating Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Administrative Center.
The attorneys for the Ministry of Justice were unable to provide a response to the judge’s request and other related questions. The day’s proceedings concluded after hearing testimony from witnesses for both parties.
Next week, the court is expected to begin a review of the case materials.