Report from the Lenoblsud in the case of the ban on one of the Russian translations of the Bible PDF Print E-mail

On December 6, 2017, the Leningrad Regional Court is considering an appeal against the decision of the Vyborg court to recognize the "Holy Scripture - Transfer of a New World", published by Jehovah's Witnesses of Bible translation, as "extremist material". A textual report is being conducted from the courtroom



The meeting begins. Due to the thick walls of the ancient court building, the listeners of the process are deprived of Internet connection, so the reporting is conducted with great delays.

The case is heard by a panel of 3 judges. The motion for video and photography was rejected, but shooting was allowed during the announcement of the operative part. The application for a more spacious room was rejected.Long before the hearing in front of the building on the bank of the Fontanka River, in which the building of the Leningrad Regional Court is located, a line of dozens of people lined up. However, for the hearings there is a small hall, which provides for the presence of only 6 listeners.




10:40After the presentation of the essence of the matter, Maxim Novakov, a representative of the religious community of Jehovah's Witnesses in Finland, began to present his position. He draws attention to the fact that in the court's decision there is not a single quote from the Bible in which experts would have found signs of extremism. The experts considered that the translation of the new world is not a translation of the Bible because it uses the personal name of God, Jehovah. Talking about this name and his fame in Russia, Novakov mentions the bas-relief on the building of the Constitutional Court of Russia in St. Petersburg, in which this name is present in the Hebrew language.
11:00The presiding judge, noting the cognition and exciting nature of Novakov's explanations, asks him to stay "closer to the law." "The case is certainly interesting, but can be shorter?" Novakov draws attention to borrowings, up to errors in spelling, in the court's decision, which, of course, attests to its lack of autonomy.
11:20Lawyer Anton Bogdanov, representing several European organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses at once, draws attention to the violation of procedural law standards in the appointment and conduct of the examination, as well as the substitution of the object of research.
11:30One of the judges was interested in the moment connected with the substitution of the object of research. The judges turned to the expertise underlying the decision to recognize the Bible as extremist, and were able to make sure that the experts examined an English-language book called The New World of the Christian Greek Scriptures.This is explained by the fact that in the examination there are extensive borrowings from the course work of students of one of the Orthodox seminaries, dedicated just to the publication "The New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures."
11:35The speech starts with the representative of the religious organization Alexander Dyubin. He drew attention to one of the arguments of experts who stated that "Holy Scripture" is not the Bible, if only because this book does not call itself the Bible itself. Dubin also shows the judges the first line of the preface: "This is a new translation of the Bible ..."
11:40Dyubin submits an application for reappointment. Reminds that it is not possible to assign expertise to specialists who have already spoken about the subject of the study. Meanwhile, in the court of first instance, the examination of the case was commissioned by the same expert who had previously expressed their opinion on the object of the investigation. Therefore, Dyubin asks to appoint a new examination, presents to the court a list of institutions and specialists competent to carry out the examination of the case.
11:50 amThe representative of the prosecutor's office briefly says that he supports the arguments of his objections to the appeal. The prosecutor's office objects to the appointment of a second examination.
11:55The court expresses the opinion that, in the light of the contradictions revealed in the expert opinion, it is necessary to interview the experts who carried out the examination (Kryukov, Tarasova, Kotelnikova). They will be summoned to court.
12:00The next meeting is scheduled for December 20, 2017 at 14:30.