Todays sitting on the criminal case of Siarhei Liashkevich was postponed until Monday for technical reasons. The prosecutor demanded 6 months imprisonment for the actrivist.
Today two witnesses were speaking in court against Mr. Liashkevich. One more witness Navahran was allowed not to speak for unknown reason. The main witness Aliaksandr Burdzei was also speaking, saying than Mr. Liashkevich was agitating him to go to Minsk and take part in mass upheaval. Mr. Burdzei has been sentenced for criminal cases three times and has many administrative violations. Still his prejudicial evidences are the main for accusing Mr. Liashkevich.
Aliaksandr Burdzei came to the police department and claimed that Siarhei Liashkevich was preparing him for taking part in mass upheaval. It then revealed that Mr. Burdzei had been accused for petty crime trice. (in 2004, 2005 and 2006). Mr. Burdzei stated that some person in the street told him he may earn money if he agrees to work for Aliaksandr Milinkevich. Who was it remains unclear. Mr. Burdzei said this person acquainted him with Siarhei Liashkevich who showed some movies displaying the way of behaving at street meetings and demonstrations. Mr. Burdzei said he learned from the movies to fire police vehicles and to make Molotov cocktail with gasoline and soap.
Mr. Liashkevish took a subscription the people will work for free (the paper was really presented in court). But Mr. Burdzei stated he still got 10 thousand Belarusian rubles for spreading leaflets. Mr. Burdzei noted that he hadnt really spread the leaflets for ideological reasons, but told Mr. Liashkevich he had done it and got money.
Then a recording secretly made by Mr. Burdzei was presented. The tape wasnt listened to, but the judge read the text of it himself. It revealed that nothing can be heard from the tape, just some Mr. Liashkevich words. Then Mr. Burdzei explained the essence of the talk he had with Mr. Liashkevich himself. According to him, he asked Siarhei Liashkevich to give him money for the ticket to Minsk for March 2, as mass upheaval was to take place then. Siarhei Liashkevich refused to give money but said the money might be returned later. Mr. Burdzei said he hadnt received any money.
Such questions as Where did you take the tape-recorder? Why did you record the talk? Where did you meet Mr. Liashkevich?, What did Mr. Liashkevich order to do?, Who did Mr. Liashkevich order to meet?, Who was to give you orders in Minsk? remained unanswered.
The evidence of another witness Vital Shkurko was even more addled. He was just repeating what Mr. Burdzei had said and couldnt answer a question.
The leader of the United opposition forces Aliaksandr Milinkevich, the leader of BNF part Vintsuk Viachorka, ambassador representatives, journalists and human rights fighters visited the court sitting.
Two video films were presented in court A Common President by Khashchavatski and videos from the demonstrations in Minsk accompanimented by Hrodna bard Shalkevich.
Aliaksandr Milinkevich told Radio Svaboda:
The process is definitely political and it emerged in Shchuchin as this is my native town. This process remind me of 1930-s in the USSR. If the judge has some dignity Mr. Liashkevich will be justified.
Siaehei Liashkevich who was the chairman of Aliaksandr Milinkevich headquarters during the elections is accused of 'Tuition of people for mass protests', according to a newly accepted part 3 of article 293 of the Criminal Code of Belarus. According to the article Mr. Liashkevich may be sentenced to 6 months arrest or 3 years of imprisonment. The accusation is based on the 'confession' of some Aliaksandr Burdzei who wrote that SIarhei had been preparing him for terrorist actions. That's the first case of applying the article to the democratic activists.
Siarhei Liashkevich was detained on March 2 after the search in his apartment. His computer and archive notes were confiscated. On March 3 the 'witness' Burdzei was sentenced to 2 year imprisonment for construction materials stealing. Siarhei Liashkevich is being kept in the investigative prison in Hrodna. His appellation for changing the conditions of his keeping was rejected.
The case was moved to Shchuchin prosecutor's office and then got into local court. The sitting is to be held on May 25.
The United Democratic Forces headquarters considers the case to be political. The democratic leader Mr. Milinkevich is going to visit the sitting which is to start at 10 AM at Shchuchin local court.
The address of the court: Hrodna region, Shchuchin, Chyrvonaarmeiskaia str., Phone #: 01514-21-586