ST. PETERSBURG, May 14 (RAPSI, Mikhail Telekhov) – Sakhib Aliyev, chief accountant of the Church of Scientology of St. Petersburg charged with extremism and illegal business, has been released from detention and put under house arrest until August 19, the United press service of St. Petersburg courts has told RAPSI.

The St. Petersburg City Court has therefore dismissed the investigators’ petition to extend Aliyev’s detention.

However, the religious group’s leader Ivan Matsitsky will stay jailed for another three months.

Three other defendants in the case are the organization’s executive director Galina Shurinova, chief of the official matters department Anastasia Terentyeva and her assistance Constance Yesaulkova. They have been placed under house arrest.

Since October, the accused persons have been reading case materials, that’s why the terms of investigation and restrictive measures are being extended.

In March 2018, searches were conducted at the premises of the Church of Scientology of St. Petersburg. The raids were directed to identifying more items and documents confirming the criminality of the religious organization leaders’ actions, the Federal Security Service’s (FSB) press-service said.

According to investigators, from 2013 to 2016, the organization received over 276 million rubles (about $5 million) for rendering its services. However, the Church of Scientology of St. Petersburg has not been incorporated under the law, an FSB representative said in court earlier.

Dianetics and Scientology are a set of religious and philosophical ideas and practices that were put forth by L. Ron Hubbard in the US in the early 1950s.

The scientific community never recognized it as science.

A resolution passed in 1996 by the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, classified the Church of Scientology as a destructive religious organization.

The Moscow Regional Court ruled in 2012 that some of Hubbard’s books be included on the Federal List of Extremist Literature and prohibited from distribution in Russia.