21 October Kastrychnitski borough court of Minsk heard the suit filed by investigator of Prosecutor General's office Viachaslaw Tserashkovich. Iryna Makavetskaya, BDG reporter in Homel and Homel region, is one of the defendants. The hearings will continue on 18 November.
On 21 October, in the very beginning of the session, the court did not satisfy the plea of Tserashkovich about additional claims. Tserashkovich demanded refutation of information, spread via BelaPAN agency and published in newspaper "Nasha Svaboda". Kastrychnitski borough court decided, that this claim, should be considered by appropriate borough courts, where Nasha Svaboda and BelaPAN are situated.
Reporter Iryna Makavetskaya made a motion to have Hary Pahaniaila, member of Belarusian Helsinki Committee, as her second representative in court. Her first representative is Lawyer of Belarusian Association of Journalists Andrei Bastunets.
Hary Pahaniaila filed a motion to stop the hearings, claiming there was nothing to discuss.
The judge announced a break in the hearings until 18 November 2002.
Investigator of the Prosecutor's General Office Viachaslaw Tserashkovich filed a suit on defense of his honor, dignity, and reputation.
In Belarus journalists writing about human rights situation and criticizing the authorities face charges from the officials. Reporter of Belaruskaya Delovaya Gazeta Iryna Makavetskaya made detailed reports about the course of "Doctors' Case" – trial on bribe-taking charges against teachers of Homel Medical Institute. The "Doctors' Case" had received publicity in the country and drawn attention of the international community. Representatives of many Belarusian and international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, were present in the courtroom during the trial.
The criminal case had an equivocal nature. The public tended to think the trial over the Institute administration was caused by scientific work of professor Bandazhewski, who researched destructive effects of small radiation doses on human body. Besides that, during the trial the public learned about multiple facts of cruel and inhumane treatment of people on remand, numerous facts of psychological pressure and even usage of psycho-tropic substances towards pro-rector Uladzimir Rawkow.
Investigator Tserashkovich thinks, that "information, spread both by Makavetskaya and the editorial team, did not correspond to the facts and derogate from my honor, dignity and reputation".