“The appeal is denied and the decision of the first-instance Court is to be approved” – such was the Ruling, on February 17, of the Panel of Judges of the Vladimir Regional Court, after the Panel’s consideration of the appeal against the first-instance court decision that the film “The Piety of the Bailiffs” be recognized as extremist material. The film gives footing of the Autumn 2012 attempt by the bailiffs to forfeit the relics of Sts Euphymy and Euphrosyne of Suzdal from the believers of ROAC (Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church).
The second-instance Court appended to the previous decision of the first-instance Court a new ruling, that the film be confiscated wherever it is to be found. According to the investigation materials in the case, the “whereever it is to be found” implies the "Portal-Credo.Ru", despite the fact that it is not technically possible for our Portal to locate any video content wherefore it only gives links to other sites (YouTube mostly).
The appeals to the Vladimir Regional Court had been submitted by the Portal’s Editor-in-Chief Alexander Soldatov, who was summoned as an interested party, the film’s author Mikhail Baranov and the Moscow Helsinki Group who are official partners of our news media. The case itself, as filed in the Court, had been initiated by the Vladimir Municipal Prosecutor who believed the Portal to be the film’s publisher, despite the obvious fact that our media only carried a link to a different site.
The Octyabrsky District Court of Vladimir (the first-instance court) made its ruling in the case on November 21 of last year with a number of violations of the norms of the substantative and procedural law, that were pointed out in the appeals. As one example, the film author, called in as a defendant in this case, had been notified of the court session just one day prior, which made it impossible for him to study the materials in the case and work out the line of defense. Six out of the total seven expert assessments indicated that the film lacked any vestiges of extremism.