Here we present first, Metropolitan Valentin's statement before the initial verdict and then a second statement after the verdict. Finally, we finish with the full exoneration by the courts, of Metropolitan Valentin, for all charges that were falsely hurled at him.
August 22, 2002 Suzdal
To the court:
Let me begin my statement with a short preamble.
During my 40 years of service, I have received many ecclesiastical and secular awards and honorary titles. Of my 29 years of residence in Suzdal, 19 were spent in the service of the Moscow Patriarchate (MP), and, during that time, the services recommenced in two churches.
Prior to my arrival in Suzdal, there was no permanent priest, and the Suzdal faithful were served by visiting clergy of the Vladimir diocese.
During the godless rule of the Soviet State in my motherland, I miraculously managed to raise from ruins two churches (Tsar Constantine Cathedral and the Church of the Theotokos Joy All who Sorrow) and to build a church house.
Upon my initiative and that of the Mayor of Rottenburg (Germany), Oscar Schubert, a friendly connection has been established between the cities of Suzdal and Rottenburg, which remain brother-cities.
I was appointed to be the rural dean of the Vladimir region's churches, and a member of the Diocesan Council. I was responsible for receiving native and international visitors and served as the President of the Organizing Committee for celebrating the 1000-year anniversary of the Baptism of Russia in Vladimir-Suzdal.
Upon the written request of the chief medical officer of the Vladimir hospital, and upon my solicitation, a diagnostic center was established at the designated regional hospital.
Since 1965 I have participated in various activities of the Peace Foundation and have received six medals for this participation, one of them gold.
Over many years, I have contributed to arranging humanitarian aid for the people of Suzdal, which became a substantial means of support for families there throughout the difficult years of economic reforms.
We all remember in what terrible and dilapidated condition the many architectural monuments of Suzdal were. I was aware that not only our Lord, but also our ancestors, our descendants, and history itself would never be able to forgive us for letting these monuments fall into such a dreadful, almost ruined state.
That is why the restoration of eighteen historical and cultural monuments in the city itself and in the Suzdal area was accomplished under my guidance, without any support from the State.
Numerous books about Suzdal, its history and sacred objects were written through my labors.
For my efforts, I was awarded honorary diplomas, insignias, medals and orders from Moscow and foreign Patriarchates. I have renounced all of these awards, however, in protest against the persecutions raised against the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church.
After I had left the MP, I immediately became subject to oppression and persecution both from the Vladimir diocese of the MP and from the special services involved.
Now the state, in the persons of an investigator and the state prosecutor, has held a trial without observing the norms of law: a show trial based upon intimidation of witnesses and victims.
I interpret this criminal case against me as persecution against the entire fullness of the Russian Church, as has already occurred in our modern history, after the terrible 1917 Revolution.
Now, about the essence of the accusation:
I deny every criminal action imputed to me.
All of these outlandish accusations emerged immediately after I had deposed the former priest Andrey Osetrov and his supporters. These false accusations are the result of his ambitions and devilish revenge.
Andrey Osetrov has craftily manipulated the testimonies of mentally unstable people like Olga Morozova and mentally ill individuals such as Dimitry Krasovsky and Evgeny Kutsyk.
I ask you to pay special attention to the fact that during the trial, it was acknowledged often that the witnesses and the victims had been bribed.
For example, Egor Derevianko was paid for his false testimony; Veniamin Kutsyk was promised money for similar false testimony; and Olga Morozova was bought a house for such testimony. We have information that Evgeny Kutsyk was also promised a house in exchange for his false testimony.
In view of such circumstances, the testimonies of the other witnesses and victims including Evgeny Kutsyk are dubious, to say the least.
The court has no objective evidence that proves the accusations brought against me.
Moreover, the accusations fail to mention any specific times for the alleged events. For example, something allegedly took place in mid-spring, or in the summer; or something happened in the middle of December or at the end of November.
In the absence of definite times, I am unable to defend myself or to give the court evidence that refutes the accusation.
During any and all of the above-mentioned periods I could have been away: receiving medical treatment, going on an extended visit throughout the Diocese, or traveling. I received treatment in the Vladimir regional hospital, in Moscow, and in American and German hospitals.
The absence of specific times in the accusations violates my right to rebut the accusations. According to the criminal law (article 73), the time a crime was committed must be proven. No actual time for committing any alleged crime was proven to the court, so we cannot call the investigation of the circumstances of this case full and complete.
Had I in fact committed the alleged crimes, all the victims would have ceased going to Church and would have remembered the exact time of such events. They would have told their parents about it, and would have gone to the militia.
Yet, they did not stop attending Church services; they cannot relate the exact times of these alleged events; and their parents have never raised objections against their communication with me.
I have been ill for thirty years with diabetes mellitus. In 1996 I endured a difficult heart operation: coronary bypass. Such illness flatly disproves the allegations made against me. These facts, however, were likewise not evaluated at the trial.
I call your attention to the fact that my principal accuser, Evgeny Kutsyk, has been under psychiatrist control since childhood with a diagnosis of innate oligophreny (retardation) in a moronic stage. The materials of the case contain a record of this fact.
Due to such a diagnosis, he was relieved from serving in the army. Now, is the whole accusation to be based on the testimony of such a person? It happens that he is not trusted to use weapons, yet my future can be entrusted to his hands.
Such serious mental disease provides the basis for his imaginings, morbid fantasies, and unreliable evaluation of events.
I assert that Evgeny Kutsyk's testimony cannot be considered objective and full without a professional statement in evidence from his doctor, who has been keeping him under observation for many years.
For this reason, I believe that it is a great omission on the part of the court that they did not question his doctor or investigate the documentation about the specifics of Evgeny Kutsyk's illness.
I consider it imperative, for the sake of full objectivity in the trial that a psychiatric evaluation regarding Evgeny Kutsyk should have been performed.
Therefore, according to article 294 of the Criminal Procedural Code, I claim the need to investigate new circumstances that are of great importance for the case: a medical investigation and expert medical and clinical testimony concerning Evgeny Kutsyk. What is more, the interview that was conducted with Evgeny Kutsyk in the psychiatric hospital cannot be called an objective and full investigation.
I also ask you to consider the testimonies of Vera Schelkina, Varvara Hitrova and Anastasia Shatilova regarding the fact that all testimony from Evgeny Kutsyk and Andrey Panov was produced under pressure from Osetrov, the investigator Egorov, and, after February 2002, the members of the extremist organization "Nashe Delo" (Mafia).
I feel compelled to point out that these victims are still under pressure and continual control, and since February 2002 have been literally stalked by Nashe Delo members.
Moreover, the testimony of Veniamin Kutsyk, submitted to the judge, Ms. Mysiagina, in a written declaration, is further proof of pressure exerted on the victims. I contend that this declaration has not been properly emphasized.
Without investigation of the complete facts, we may not call the accusatory testimonies objective and true. For this reason, I insist that the court issue a special decision (or ruling) to make the law-enforcement organs properly act to investigate fully the use of coercion on Evgeny Kutsyk and Andrey Panov.
All circumstances described here are particularly important for the case and must be evaluated and properly studied by the court.
August 22, 2002
What has happened today is something we have been warning you about during the last one and a half years; but at the same time it was something we did not want to believe until the very last minute.
The Suzdal regional court, Judge Isabella Mysiagina presiding, has committed a blasphemous anti-clerical crime: it has issued an absurd and groundless verdict on my case.
As a monk, I should not vindicate myself when I am slandered. Yet, it is obvious to everyone, especially the court, that this verdict directed against me has struck the Church of Christ and left a bleeding wound on her body, already tormented by the persecutions of the twentieth century.
The court found me guilty of criminal actions that were denied by the 'victims' themselves. The testimony of one of them has been rejected by the court for the sole reason that it contradicted the words of the witness Andrey Osetrov.
This man, the former priest, is fully responsible for what has happened. It is especially hard for me to understand, because it was I who laid hands on him to give him the grace of the priesthood; and he now tramples it underfoot.
For many years we worked side by side. He now, having found influential patrons who are exasperated by the open preaching in the Russian land of true Orthodoxy, which undermines the hegemony of the Moscow Patriarchate, has involved many miserable ones in his satanic, anti-clerical work.
One of them is Judge Mysiagina, who carried out her evil work with evident exertion and a quaver in her voice, clearly unknowing or uncaring about the Last Judgment of God, to be expected by her and me and every mortal person.
Now, under these severe circumstances of lawlessness triumphant, I again call upon the faithful flock of the True Church to be courageous and firm.
I witness before God that I am not guilty of these bizarre crimes; they were not proven by the court, so let your hearts be free of confusion.
Although our faith in Russian justice has been greatly undermined, we shall follow the path prescribed by the law until the final outcome.
Today's verdict will be appealed in every particular; and I, as First Hierarch, will protect the dignity of the Church entrusted to me until the end.
I call God's blessing upon you and ask you to intensify your prayers for me, the unworthy one.
Metropolitan of Suzdal and Vladimir
Suzdal, August 23, 2002, 6 PM.
On the 26th of February, 2004, Judge M. A. Zaglazeev and Secretary O. A. Savchenkova presiding, there was a court hearing in the civil action case of A. P. Rusanstsov (Metropolitan Valentine), plaintiff, vs. VROO "Prizyv," and A.V. Rasshchupkin, defendants, defending the plaintiff’s honor, dignity, and business reputation. The court mandated the newspaper "Prizyv" to publish within thirty days, in the same place in the newspaper, and with the same type of script, a retraction of its article as not being in accordance with reality and damaging to the honor, dignity, and business reputation of the plaintiff — CASE CLOSED.
On the 3rd of March, 2004, Judge I. N. Mysyagina, with the participation of the District Attorney T. V. Lezova, Att. S. K. Mochonny, and Secretary J. N. Suslova, handed down the following ruling: "To revoke the suspended sentence upon A. P. Rusantsov (Metropolitan Valentine), which he had received from the Suzdal Regional Court on the 23rd of August, 2002, in accordance with article No. 132, part 2 (D) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, and with article No. 133 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, and to completely exonerate A.P. Rusantsov.