HAVING SERVED 30-DAY JAIL TERM FOR LEAFLET DISTRIBUTION ARTUR FINKEVICH APPEALS AGAINST THE COURT DECISION. HE CONSIDERS COURT DECISION ILLEGAL AND VIOLATING NORMS OF SUBSTANTIVE LAW
Lawyers of the Human Rights Center "Viasna" helped Artur Finkevich to write a complaint on his case.
To chairperson of Minsk city court
From Artur V. Finkevich
On the case of administrative offence
November 27, 2003 Savetski borough court of Minsk found me, Artur V. Finkevich, guilty of administrative office. Under Art 167.1 part 2 of the Code of Administrative Offences I incurred administrative penalty of 15 days of arrest. I do not agree with the decision of Savetski borough court of Minsk. I believe it is illegal for the following reasons:
Savetski borough court of Minsk states in its decision, that on November 10, 2003 I violated the order of organizing and conducting rallies and street marches. The offence consisted in the fact that being the declarant of the mass action, at 6 p.m. on V. Kharuzhy Street,1 I had spread leaflets about date, time and place of the action before Minsk city executive commission gave permission for the action, thus violating Art 8 of the Law "On Mass Events in the Republic of Belarus".
During the trial I pleaded guilty of having committed that offence. However, during the hearing the court did not take account of the fact, that on November 13, 2003 Leninski borough court has already found me guilty of violation of Art 167.1 part 2 of the Code of Administrative Offences and sentenced me to 15 days of arrest. According to the decision of Leninski borough court of Minsk I was found guilty of violation of the order of organizing a mass event, which consisted in spreading leaflets about the action before the positive decision of Minsk city executive commission.
Thus, Savetski borough court of Minsk Judge R. V. Kazadayew applied the norms of the substantive law incorrectly. The committed offence was of lasting nature and was connected with consequent failure to fulfil the duties I had under the Law "On Mass Events in the Republic of Belarus". A lasting offence begins from the day it is committed and ends as a result of the actions of the offender, which testify to discontinuation of the offence, or as a result of events preventing the offender from continuation of the offence.
Thus, my lasting offence began on November 10, 2003 and ended on November 12, 2003 because I was detained by police officers and put to Minsk police board detention center until the trial. On November 13 Leninski borough court of Minsk sentenced me to 15 days of jail. Thus, when on November 27 Savetski borough court of Minsk was trying me for the same offence, I, as the organizer of the mass action, had been already penalized for violation of the order of organizing mass events, according to the Leninski borough court Ruling which came into effect.
Under Art 227 clause 227 of the Code of Administrative Offences, proceedings on a case of an administrative offence can not be initiated, and instituted proceedings are to be terminated if a competent body (official) has already imposed a penalty on the offender for the same violation. According to clause 8 of the Resolution of the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court #1 of 25.03.1999, on preparation the a trial a judge is obliged to find out, if there are any circumstances making the proceedings impossible. Once the circumstances, listed in Art 227 clauses 2-10 of the Code of Administrative Offences, are ascertained, judge is to terminate the proceedings on a case.
Despite the requirements if the legislation, Savetski borough court of Minsk Judge R. V. Kazadayew has repeatedly penalized me for violation of the order of organizing the same mass action. In connection with the above-stated, and under Art 274 part 1 and Art 273 clause 3 of the Code of Administrative Offences, I ask:
1. To obtain on demand the materials of my administrative case from Savetski borough court of Minsk and examine them;
2. To reverse the ruling of Savetski borough court of Minsk of 27.11.2003 and terminate the proceedings
1. Copy of Leninski borough court of Minsk ruling of 13.11.2003
2. Copy of Savetski borough court of Minsk ruling of 27.11.2003
3. Receipt of legal expenses payment
A. V. Finkevich