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The Case of Gaiva Tikhomirova

06.04.2023 @ 14:33 – 15:33 Europe/Helsinki Timezone
The Case of Gaiva Tikhomirova

About the case: Gaiva Tikhomirova is accused of establishing a religious organization whose activities are associated with violence or other harm to health (Article 239, Part 1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). Tikhomirova was the leader of the religious organization called the “Order of the Way.” According to the investigation, members of the organization have been  physically and psychologically harmed.

The case is being heard by the Moscow District Court of St. Petersburg, presided over by Judge Natalia Surovtseva.

I entered the courthouse without any difficulties. The bailiffs didn’t even ask me in what capacity I wanted to attend the hearing.

There were journalists from Channel 78 in the courtroom – a male cameraman and a female reporter. They asked if I was a representative of the media, and I replied that I was a member of the public.

Shortly before the scheduled time, a secretary came out of the courtroom and announced that the hearing had been postponed because Tikhomirova had not been brought in. It sounded as if the hearing had already taken place without any participants. However, it turned out that the hearing was delayed due to another hearing.

Journalists attempted to interview Tikhomirova’s lawyer in the hallway, but he refused to answer. The only thing he said was that he believed his client’s innocence.

More than an hour past the scheduled time, the secretary finally invited us into the courtroom.

“Is this the press?” the judge asked.

“Just a public” the defense attorney replied.

“A public?” the judge inquired.

“Yes, I’m a member of the public.”

“Yours?” the judge asked the attorney.

“No, not mine.”

The hearing lasted only a few minutes. The judge decided to postpone it and urged me to leave the courtroom.

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