Prosecutor’s office interrogates BelSat coordinator

2008 2008-05-13T17:40:16+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en

Recently the coordinator of the BelSat satellite TV channel for Belarus Eduard Melnikau has received summons to the prosecutor’s office of Minsk. However, the reasons were not specified in the document. When Melnikau phoned to the investigator and asked him, the investigator seemed to be surprised. ‘Don’t you know yet?’ he asked. 

13 May Melnikau has come to the prosecutor’s office together with his public representative, the lawyer for the Belarusian Association of Journalists Andrei Bastunets, for a 40-minute interrogation, conductedby Viktar Shaban, investigator of especially important cases. 

‘I was asked whether I had any relation to BelSat. I said that I was dealing with registration of the representation of this TV channel in Belarus and was doing it officially. At the same time, I informed the investigator that I had no relation to political cartoons,’ said Eduard Melnikau in the interview to the BAJ press service. 

Bear in mind, that earlier procuracies and KGB offices interrogated a number of journalists who had suffered from the unlawful searches on 27-28 March. All of them were interrogated as witnesses in the criminal case on defamation of president (part 1 of Article 367 of the Criminal Code), brought against A.Abozau, P.Marozau and A.Minich. The interrogations concerned the activities of the BelSat TV channel and the political cartoons, issued by the Third Way initiative. 

The abovementioned criminal case was brought by the prosecutor’s office of Minsk in August 2005 and concerned the internet distribution of the political cartoons ‘defaming the honor and dignity of president of Belarus’. At first the prosecutor’s office interrogated the administrator of the web-site of the Third Way Andrei Abozau and the project coordinator Pavel Marozau. KGB also searched their apartments and confiscated the computer equipment. Shortly after this Abozau, Marozau and Minich left Belarus.