FEBRUARY 23, 2018
On February 22, 2018, Judge Aleksey Rudnev, of the Zheleznodorozhniy District Court in Oryol, ruled to keep Dennis Christensen in pretrial detention until August 1, 2018. Mr. Christensen is being prosecuted for organizing the activity of a religious organization that has been declared extremist. In fact, he was arrested while attending a Christian religious meeting that was raided by police in May 2017.
The preliminary hearing began on February 19, during which time the judge deferred ruling on the motions that both parties had filed. However, at the February 22 hearing, the judge denied all motions filed by Mr. Christensen’s attorneys and ruled to extend his pretrial detention. The criminal trial is scheduled to begin on February 26 at 2:30 p.m.
Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide are concerned for Mr. Christensen’s welfare and pray that his wife, Irina, can persevere without the support of her husband. He has already been in pretrial detention for nine months.