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Moscow court says decision to strip cleric of driving license legitimate

October 25, 2012, 18:25 UTC+3
Hegumen Timothy collided with two cars on the Garden Ring while driving a BMW sports car with diplomatic number plates
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MOSCOW, October 25 (Itar-Tass) — Moscow City’s Zamoskvoretsky district court has reaffirmed legitimacy of a ruling by a justice of peace to strip a controversial Moscow cleric of the driving license for a refusal to take a medical checkup at the site of a road accident.

By passing its resolution, the court turned down a complaint by the cleric’s defense that called for annulling the decision of the justice of peace as illegal and to stop prosecutorial actions in connection with the case due the absence of an administrative violation.

In September, Justice Olga Lepentsova passed a ruling that recognized the cleric, hegumen Timothy who is Father Superior of a well-known downtown church, guilty of a failure to take a checkup for alcoholic intoxication in connection with a road accident. Her ruling to block his driving license is valid for twenty months.

Hegumen Timothy is charged with an offense under Article 12.26 of the Code of Administrative Violations citing a driver’s failure to take a medical checkup for alcoholic intoxication. This violation entails a punishment in the form of a confiscation of the driving license for 18 to 24 months.

However, the cleric said in the courtroom he did not refuse to take the checkup, since policemen did not ask him to take it.

As reported earlier, Hegumen Timothy collided with two cars on the Garden Ring while driving a BMW sports car with diplomatic number plates. At the moment of collision, one of the cars was moving in the oncoming lane.

The cleric told the judges later he did not recognize any guilt on his part and he was absolutely sober at the time of the accident. He claimed that a Volkswagen Touareg had cut in into his lane in front his car and he had to use emergency braking on a wet road.

The Russian Orthodox Church passed a decision to bar the hegumen from service until the end of investigation.

In the meantime, reports appeared Thursday suggesting that the police had closed the case itself due to the absence of constitutive elements of an administrative violation.

The priest’s defenders said this was stated in a resolution issued by the road police.

The resolution said, however, that Hegumen Timothy had failed to select a safe speed and lost control of the car, which resulted in a collision.

“An official document /from the road police – Itar-Tass/ said the guilt of the sides hadn’t been established and the accident had been caused by the ‘situation on the road’,” lawyer Anastasia Knyazhevskaya said.


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