A magistrate's court has fined the Dynasty Foundation led by prominent businessman and philanthropist Dmitry Zimin 300,000 rubles ($5,500) for violating legislation regulating operations of a non-governmental organization acting as a foreign agent, an Interfax correspondent reported from the courthouse.
The case materials indicate that Dynasty was put on the register of NGOs acting as foreign agents following a Justice Ministry inspection, which revealed that the organization had financed two Liberal Mission projects that were of political nature. Hence, the court resolved based on the inspection results that Dynasty was engaged in politics and its operations should be qualified as those pursued by an NGO acting as a foreign agent.
Dynasty lawyers insisted in court that the two Liberal Mission projects, i.e. the book titled 'Law and Power' and seminars titled 'I Think', were of an educational rather than political nature.
"It also needs to be emphasized that the inspections were conducted the same day, and the reports were signed within one hour, and so how were we supposed to know that Liberal Mission was acting as an NGO?" a Dynasty lawyer said at the hearing.
Having listened to arguments by the foundation's lawyers, Judge Sergei Komlev resolved that Dynasty had committed an administrative offence by not voluntarily applying to be included in the register of NGOs acting as foreign agents.
The court on June 17 voiced only its conclusions; the motives will be presented later.
Dynasty Foundation lawyers refrained from comments following the hearing.
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