NOVIKAVA FOUND GUILTY OF LIBELING LUKASHENKA. On 4 April Centralny borough court of Minsk sentenced Aksana Novikava to 2 years of imprisonment with a two year suspension of punishment. “I believe, during the trial the defense managed to prove that the facts in Novikava’s leaflets were true”, -- says attorney Pavel Sapelka

2003 2003-04-04T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On 4 April Centralny borough court of Minsk sentenced Aksana Novikava to 2 years of imprisonment with a two year suspension of punishment. “I believe, during the trial the defense managed to prove that the facts in Novikava’s leaflets were true”, -- says attorney Pavel Sapelka
Pavel Sapelka: “We will file an appeal against the sentence in the next 10 days. I hope, the courts of higher instances, Minsk city court, or at least the Supreme Court will establish the truth in the case and will come to the only correct conclusion that information, spread by Aksana Novikava, did not contain libel, i.e. deliberately false and dishonourable information, about the person, who was discussed in the leaflets. I believe, during the trial the defense managed to prove that the facts in the leaflets were true thus were not libel”.
Aksana Novikava, 29, the mother of 2-year old daughter, was detained on 17 October 2002 in the center of Minsk. She distributed self-made leaflets, which accused the incumbent of having committed a number of crimes; “complicity in seizure of power or unconstitutional prolongation of tenure in office, i.e. the crime the crime under Art. 357 part 2 of the Criminal Code; complicity in murder of 2 or more individuals and their abduction (Art 139 part 2,1-2 of the Criminal Code); complicity in contraband, committed by a group of individuals and with power abuse (Art 228 part 3 of the Criminal Code); complicity in tax evasion, committed by a group of individuals (Art 231 part 2 of the Criminal Code); and complicity in legalizing the material values, acquired in a criminal way (Art 235 of the Criminal Code)” (quoted from “Ruling to send the criminal case to the prosecutor for sending it to court”, signed by M. A. Padziarei, investigator of Centralny borough prosecutor’s office in Minsk)
The trial started on 3 April. The sentence was announced on 4 April. During the whole trial Judge Yesmian was nervously turning over the pages of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which had been attached to the case on Novikava’s request.

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