Okay, do I understand this correctly? Dennis Christensen presided over a Bible study meeting at a Kingdom Hall in Russia one year ago. He has been jailed for a year in pre-trial detention, after police broke in with SWAT team gear to arrest him. Several motions to have him released on his own recognizance have proved unsuccessful and bank accounts have been frozen, leaving his wife to fend for herself. Only now, after a year in prison, is his case finally coming to trial, having been postponed several times.
And…a key prosecution witness is an individual who will testify out of sight, his or her voice garbled by electronic means. Are you kidding me? For a Bible teacher? Is it prosecution theatrics to plant the notion that Jehovah’s Witnesses are as dangerous as the mob?
And then…more evidence that this escalation is unheard of, at least in the Orel court, it turns out that no one knows how to make the machine do what it is supposed to. The witness’s testimony is garbled to such an extent that nobody could understand it, and the trial was postponed until they either got someone who knew what he was doing or brought in a better machine. “Try speaking in syllables,” the judge (or someone) had said, but it was no good.
Look, you want to fear the authorities, “for it is not without purpose that it bears the sword,” and it sure has been bearing it lately with Jehovah’s Witnesses, the subject of numerous SWAT team searches in various parts of Russia. One tries not to invoke images of Boris and Natashia from Bullwinkle, but with reports like these it is hard to banish the thought.
Prosecutors attempted to restrict news media coverage to the trial. But Dennis doesn’t see himself as a criminal and stated such secrecy would impede a fair trial. The judge agreed with this and denied the motion of the prosecution.
#dennischristensen, #jwrussia, #stopJWban