Trial over an OCU priest begins in Crimea
"Archimandrite Damian came to the "court" with a lawyer. The court session was postponed to August 23, 2021. For the next session, the "court" summons two witnesses on the side of the prosecution and two witnesses on the side the defense," representative of the Regional Council of Ukrainians of Crimea Andriy Shchekun told "Voice of Crimea" news agency.
As reported, on August 8, 2021, representatives of the "law enforcement agencies" of the occupation authorities broke into the premises of the monastery of St. Demetrius of Thessalonica of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in the village of Balky, Bilohirsky District, during a Sunday service. According to the information received, these illegal actions were carried out by investigators of the "Center for Countering Extremism" in Simferopol, headed by major Volodymyr Gorevanov.
On August 9, 2021, the prosecutor's office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol instituted criminal proceedings on the fact of illegal obstruction of the implementation of a religious rite on the territory of the temporarily occupied peninsula (Part 1 of Article 180 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).
On August 10, 2021, the investigator of the "Center for Countering Extremism" in Simferopol informed archimandrite Damian, rector of the monastery of St. Demetrius of Thessalonica of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in the village of Balky, Bilohirsky District, that a protocol on an administrative offense had been drawn up against him under Part 4 of Article 5.26 of Russian law and that it was necessary to arrive at the Bilohirsky court at 10 o'clock on August 17, 2021.