Former monk accused of arbitrariness and other offenses to stand trial

The Main Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia finished investigation of a probe into Nikholay Romanov (former hegumen Sergiy). He is charged under Paragraphs C, E of Part 3 of Article 110.1, Part 3 of Article 148, Part 1 of Article 330 of the Criminal Code of Russia (inclination to commit suicide; violation of the right to freedom of conscience and religion; arbitrariness).

The investigation established that in 2020 Romanov was excommunicated, but, disagreeing with the decision to ban him from the ministry, he did not leave the monastery and prevented access to the territory of all persons at his own discretion, including representatives of the Yekaterinburg diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church. By his actions, he illegally obstructed the conduct of religious rituals. In addition, Romanov, violating the norms of civil law, prevented the inventory of real estate objects on the territory of the monastery, that is, committed arbitrariness.

Subsequently, Romanov publicly called on at least ten nuns living in the monastery to commit suicide. Realizing that his calls may be perceived indefinitely by a wide range of people and entail socially dangerous consequences, he published a video of his speech on the Internet, containing signs of persuading believers to commit suicide under the guise of the religious ideology of Christianity.

He did not admit guilt in the commission of these crimes. Previously, he was sentenced to 13 years of imprisonment for committing of a murder and robbery, he was released in the late 90s after serving his sentence .

The investigation gathered enough evidence; therefore, the criminal case with the approved indictment has been sent to the court to be tried on the merits.