Arkadi Akopyan (second from right) in the hall of the Supreme Court of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic, March 1, 2019. Photo by Lyudmila Maratova for the Caucasian Knot

01 March 2019, 21:24

KBR's SC closes Akopyan's case

The Supreme Court (SC) of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic (KBR) has decided that after the mitigation of the article on extremism, there was no crime element in the case of Arkadi Akopyan, a believer of Jehovah's Witnesses, the religious organization, recognized as extremist and banned by the court decision.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on December 27, 2018, the court found Arkadi Akopyan, a follower of the above religion from the town of Prokhladny, guilty under Part 1, Article 282, of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (incitement of hatred and enmity) and punished him with 120 hours of compulsory public works.

The defence criticized the verdict to Arkadi Akopyan, recalling the partial decriminalization of the article, under which now a person can be prosecuted only in case of a repeated violation.

Today, the appeal instance of the KBR's SC has considered a complaint against the verdict to Akopyan, said the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent, who was present at the court session. The prosecutor asked to stop the case taking into account the new wording of Article 282 of the Russia's Criminal Code, which has decriminalized the offences, for which Akopyan had been convicted. The defence has demanded the need for a full appellate hearing of the case, an acquittal and granting Akopyan the right to rehabilitation.

The SC has satisfied the prosecutor's motion. The criminal case against Akopyan was closed due to the absence of a crime in his actions.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on March 1, 2019 at 07:30 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Lyudmila Maratova; Source: CK correspondent

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