The Leninski District Court in Horadnia charged Alena Raubetskaja, Chief Editor of the newspaper “Birzha infarmacyi”, with 1,3 mln BRB (approximately $600)

2004 2004-09-30T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

That was the result of the hearings of the administrative case against the journalist started by the Public Prosecutor of Leninski District in Horadnia on September 30. Natallia Koziel, the judge, decided that she distributed by means of Mass Media untrue information which assaulted honor and dignity of the President of the Republic of Belarus. The ruling is final and cannot be questioned according to the proceedings in administrative cases, informs Press service of Belarusian Journalists’ Association.

The hearings on the case started on September 28. Natallia Makushyna, a journalist of the “Birzha infarmacyi”, and Mikola Markevich, Chief Editor of the newspaper “Dzen”, witnessed on this case. Mrs. Raubetskaja in the court was represented by the leader of Center of Legal Defense of Mass Media within “Belarusian Journalists Association” - Mikhail Pastukou. The witnesses stated that in the publication there is no other information than announcement about the Referendum and all the rest is the journalist’s point of view. But these arguments were not considered by the court objective on the grounds that they were made by the colleagues of Raubetskaja and “they have interest in the result of the hearings”. The judge also did not approve the application of Aliaksandar Birylau, the lawyer, for a linguistic expertise of the publication.

Raubetskaja learned that administrative case was initiated against her on September 16. The grounds for the case were made by an article “Betrayal in the Name of People”, published in a front line of the newspaper on September 9 (#36). The claims arose by the following fragment: “Referendum (and one cannot get the third term without it) announced by Mr. President is a challenge to the society… One should possess not only absence of conscience but also “godlike” scorn to plebs…”.

The court ruled that the article distributed false information which “does not reflect legal base for the Referendum announced according to the article 85 of the Constitution when it calls Referendum “a challenge to the society” with reference to the absence of conscience". (A quotation from the court’s decision).

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