“God Kuzya” rejected in court on charges of fraud

Moscow. January 11. INTERFAX – Moscow Presnensky court on Thursday began considering on the merits the criminal case against the sect leader Andrei Popov, known as “God Kuzya”.

After the announcement of the indictment the Prosecutor, the defendant denied the allegations.

“The accusation is clear to me. I plead not guilty for any of the articles,” said he.

Other defendants also have pleaded not guilty.

Popov was charged under part 1 article 239 of the criminal code (creating a non-profit organization encroaching on the personality and rights of citizens – religious Association whose activity involves violence against citizens or other infliction of harm to their health, and the leadership of such Association, with the promotion of acts), part 4 of article 159 of the criminal code (fraud committed by an organized group, in especially large size).

In addition to Popov, the defendants, five of his associates – men and women, residents of the Moscow region in age from 26 to 65 years, including chief accountant of the sect Galina Markevich and two of an accomplice Popov – Hope Rozanov and Jeanne Frolushkina.

Depending on the role and degree of participation in the offences they are charged with violating part 3 of article 239 of the criminal code (participation in activities of non-profit organization encroaching on the personality and rights of citizens – religious Association whose activity involves violence against citizens or other infliction of harm to their health, with the promotion of acts) and part 4 of article 159 of the criminal code.

According to the Prosecutor General, “with the aim to systematically commit serious crimes selfish orientation, dressed in the robe of a priest, he declared himself as the master of the Novel – “God Kuzya”, thereby deceiving the citizens and abusing their trust.”

Established in September 2007 on the territory of Moscow Popov created a religious group (sect), whose activity involves violence against citizens or other infliction of harm to their health, led the Association and promoting its activities, said earlier in the Supervisory Agency.

The sect was a strict hierarchical system, in which head there was an organizer – the only leader, teacher and master, is supposedly endowed with “divine knowledge and power”.

Further, according to the investigation, accomplices as part of an organized criminal group under the pretext of worship, purchase of religious paraphernalia, prayers, literature, ceremonial objects and the construction of the temple stole cash worth over 7 million rubles.