The puzzle is gaining pieces:
We have a small update on the Pastor Phillip Miles who is being held for Smuggling charges in a Russian Prison……
Two lawyers contacted at the time of first arrest said authorities’ treatment of Miles was within the law.
“If he was unsure, all he had to do was approach a customs official and ask if he should declare the bullets,” Sergei Melnikov, a lawyer who specializes in customs and immigration issues, said.
“Checking one box on the declarations form could have saved him all this trouble,” Melnikov added.
Igor Trunov, a criminal lawyer who deals with high-profile cases, said a number of factors could have compounded Miles’ situation.
“It all depends on how he acted when he was stopped,” Trunov said. “If it appeared to customs officials that he was trying to hide the fact that he had the ammunition in the suitcase, that would have aroused their suspicion,” he added.
Pastor Miles is being held in a prison in Moscow while his case is being investigated. He is confined to a wing of the prison that is reserved only for foreign nationals. Pastor Miles shares cell space with several men from various countries. He has reported to us, through the Embassy, that he is getting along well with his cell mates. The initial period allowed for investigation is 60 days. While the investigation could be completed faster than that, it is also possible for the Prosecutor to request additional 60 day periods for investigation. As a result, we do not have any way to know definitively when his case will be scheduled for hearing. The Prosecutor is investigating trafficking and smuggling charges against Pastor Miles. If he is found guilty for trafficking it could entail a punishment ranging from a fine to a sentence of 3 years. If he is found guilty of smuggling it would be a 3-7 year sentence.
What is happening in the United States?
Church representatives are in daily contact with the US State Department, the US Embassy in Moscow and Lindsey Graham’s office. All of these entities are working hard to assist Pastor Miles during this process. Pastor Miles has been visited by Embassy officials in Moscow. They report that he is in good spirits and he sends his best wishes to the church congregation. He thanks everyone for their thoughts and prayers, and for their continued support of Christ Community Church. He asks that we continue to pray for his health, as the weather is turning very cold in Russia. Money raised by the church has been used to purchase food and additional warm clothing for Pastor Miles. If additional funds are needed, we will give you information as to how you can help. Finally, the Embassy advised us that they can take letters and cards to Pastor Miles, but that he is not always allowed to keep them with him in his cell. If you would like to send him a letter or card, please address it to the church and include your name and return address on the envelope. Letters will be gathered and sent in groups to the Embassy. This website will continue to provide updates from Pastor Miles as we get them from the Embassy.
Please send letters and cards to: Pastor Phillip Miles (Russia)
c/o Christ Community Church
1500 Hwy. 501 Business
Conway, SC 29526
**Please be aware that your correspondence WILL be read by other people.**
Dominic Starr will be working with Pastor Phillip’s Russian lawyers to assist them in preparing his defense. There may be long periods of time during this phase that we do not hear anything new as to the progress of the case. We will continue to post all official news on this website.
What do we need you to do?
Please continue to pray for Pastor Phillip, Lynn and their children.
Pray that there is a speedy investigation process and that the smuggling charges are dropped.
Pray for God to continue to move in our church as we prepare for the mighty things He is doing in us and Pastor Phillip in this process.
Please do not speculate about what might be going on. (All official news will be posted.)
Please do not call Lynn directly. She appreciates your thoughts and prayers. Please send her a card or note to her home or c/o CCC (same address as above) if you would like to communicate with her.
Friday, February 08, 2008
A formal hearing was held in Pastor Miles’ case in Moscow on February 8th.
At the hearing, the State requested that it be given an additional 60 days to complete its investigation of this case. The request was granted by the court. As a result, Pastor Miles will be held in jail in Moscow during the course of the investigation. While the church is disappointed with this temporary setback, we are encouraged that Pastor Miles’ reputation of integrity and character will ultimately lead to his freedom.
The United States Embassy in Moscow is monitoring this situation and has sent representatives to visit with Pastor Miles. They assure us that he is being treated well and remains in good physical condition. Friends in Russia have told the church that his spirits remain high and that those around him have been very impressed with his attitude and demeanor during this difficult time.
This website will be updated any time we receive official news about the status of this case. If you hear or read anything about this case that contradicts information on this website, please disregard it.
The church asks that you continue to remember Phillip and Lynn, their children and extended family, and the church body, in your thoughts and prayers.
This as up to date information that we can find as of now. These two links are our past articles to get you caught up on what is happening!
We will keep everyone up to date as we find the information.
Does not look good I predict , Jail Term.
Kyle & Svet