Pavel Levinau Is Fined
On 23 January the third court sitting on an administrative case against a member of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee Pavel Levinau took place at Minsk Pershamaiski borough court. The defendant was charted with petty hooliganism (article 156 of the Administrative code). Judge Natallia Karablina announced a 20-minute break before reading the verdict, but didn’t return to the court hall again. Instead, she read the verdict to him alone, without any other witnesses, in her own office. She ruled to fine him about 28 US dollars.
The persons who attended the trial tried to find the judge, but an assistant judge Alena Tsyhankova ordered that they leave the court hall, which caused public indignation as the people wanted to hear the verdict. Then the assistant judge called the police. The police, however, didn’t register any disorder: the people were simply standing in the corridor. The court workers also refused to give to the visitors the complaint book.
According to Radio Racyja, 22 persons signed a complaint to the chair of the court and to the Ministry of Justice. At 7.30 p.m. the people left the court. By that time many policemen and unknown people in mufti gathered nearby, ready to detain them.
We should remind that on 13 January Mr. Levinau, an organizer of election monitoring on the territory of Minsk, was detained and accused of using foul language. As a result he was kept in an isolator on 14 January the Voting Day.