Trial of Zmitser Dashkevich Postponed to 9 November
On 6 November the trial of the leader of the Young Front Zmitser Dashkevich started in Shklou prison. At present Dashkevich is serving 18-month term for ‘activities on behalf of unregistered organization’ (article 193.1 of the Criminal Code). The criminal case that is being considered now has been brought against Dashkevich in August 2007 for refusal to testify against another member of the Young Front, Ivan Shyla, who was also charged with violation of article 193.1.
At 10.50 on 6 November Dashkevich’s lawyer Aliaksandr Haliyeu informed RFE/RL that the procedure of familiarizing the defendant with the ruling about the beginning of the trial was violated. According to the law, Dashkevich was to have been informed about the date of the trial at least in five days’ advance. The prison administration made it three days before the trial. Aliaksandr Haliyeu also stated that he would try to get the trial opened.
9.20 – the trial begins. The lawyer was admitted to the court sitting. About forty people gathered at the entrance of the prison, including Zmitser’s friends, people in mufti and the camera crew of the Belarusian TV.
9.40 – Viachaslau Dashkevich, Zmitser Dashkevich’s father, is not admitted to the trial. The prison commandant informs him about the order of the department of punishment execution of the Ministry if Interior to admit to the trial only its participants.
9.47 – The acting deputy-chair of the diplomatic missions of the US Embassy tried to meet with the prison commandant Valery Illiushenka. The diplomat is not admitted to the trial either.