Trial of human rights defender Leanid Svetsik: new surprises
On 10 June Vitsebsk oblast court considered the criminal case against Leanid Svetsik. The trial started at 10 a.m. with an unexpected incident. An unknown youngster unfurled the protest ‘KGB – fascists’ and explained that in such a way he wanted to express his protest against the fabrication of the criminal case against Mr. Svetsik by the local KGB department. After showing the poster he left the court hall.
The judge Halina Urbanovich expelled from the hall the journalist Vadzim Barshcheuski and the human rights activist Pavel Levinau, because they were allegedly witnesses in the case. Both of them were very surprised at it, because they found about their status only during the trial.
All in all there are about thirty witnesses. All of them are journalists of non-state media of Vitsebsk and the region.
Some of the victims, namely Barys Khamaida and Yan Taupyha, told to the court their personal information in the Belarusian language. That’s why the judge proposed them the services of an interpreter. Though all of the trial participants refused from these services, the judge announced one-hour break.
At 11.55 a.m., after the break, the surprises continued. The victims Barys Khamaida and Yan Taupyha stated impeachment to the judge because of her being illegitimate as far as a constitutional overturn had taken place in 1996 and the present authorities were ruled not by the law but by some mob rules. After it the judge announced a 30-minute break.
At 12.55 the judge announced a break till 2 p.m. Before it the court was solving the formalities with the obligatory translation of all its actions into Belarusian.
The trial was attended by the human rights defenders Ales Bialiatski, Uladzimir Labkovich and Valiantsin Stefanovich.
Bear in mind that Leanid Svetsik is charged with fomentation of racial, national or religious enmity (Article 130, part 1 of the Criminal Code).