Continuation of “Viasna” Trial
On 23 October the Supreme Court listened to the testimonies of a part of witnesses, representatives of regional branches of “Viasna” from Homel, Svetlahorsk, Brest, Baranavichy and Navapolatsk whose signatures, according to the representative of the Justice Ministry Neanila Fishkina, had been forged. Judge Valiantsina Kulik asked them whether they were “Viasna” members, what documents they had signed and whether the presented signatures belonged to them. All witnesses confirmed that their signatures were really theirs.
After questioning the witnesses was over, Neanila Fishkina asked to attach to the case materials the documents that, to her mind, witnessed repeated violations of the legislation by “Viasna”. Among them there was the decision of Minsk Tsentralny Borough Court to fine Ales Bialiatski 10 minimal salaries (about $70) for the excess of the circulation of the bulletin “Right to Freedom” and the act, composed by the guard of the Ministry of Justice on 25 September 2003 for unauthorized picketing by activists of closed NGOs and “Viasna” members. Judge pointed out that the latter of the acts had no juridical force, but attached it to the case.
The trial will continue at 10 a.m. on 24 October. The court will continue listening to testimonies and the notarized witnesses of the people who couldn’t come to the court due to different reasons (illness of relatives, being abroad, etc.).
The trial was conducted in Belarusian.