Supreme Court turned down Leanid Svetsik’s cassation complaint

2009 2009-09-15T18:55:06+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The Supreme Court of Belarus refused to change the verdict to human rights activist from Vitsebsk Leanid Svetsik.

The Supreme Court considered a cassation appeal against the verdict of Vitsebsk oblast court against Leanid Svetsik under Article 130 part 1 of the Criminal Code of Belarus. The Supreme Court judicial division for criminal cases dismissed the appeal of Svetsik and decided the verdict of the lower court can’t be cancelled or changed.

Bear in mind that on 16 July 2009 judge Urbanovich found Leanid Svetsik guilty of stirring up national hatred and sentenced to a fine worth of 31mln Belarusian rubles ($10 890).

‘34 pages of my appeal contain examples of violation of the procedure that have lead to such a cruel and unfair judgment against me. The judges didn’t pay due attention them, as I supposed. I didn’t expect another decision. Anyway, the verdict takes force today. I don’t know what to do. I don’t have this sum, but if I don’t pay it within a month, I can be arrested for three month under article 418 of the Criminal Code, besides property of my family will be attached to pay the fine, Svetsik told the civil campaign European Belarus at a press conference.

In 2006–2007, Leanid Svetsik was rendering legal aid to Vitsebsk activists who received threat letters on behalf of unregistered pro-Nazi organization Russian National Unity, was helping to prepare complaints to prosecutors. A criminal case over fact of threats from RNU was instigated by Vitsebsk KGB only on 20 May 2008. Leanid Svetsik was mentioned as a witness in the case, but later he was said he was the suspected under Article 130.1. Leanid Svetsik was a witness in the case at first, but than learnt he was announced the suspected.

The criminal case against him was suspended in September 2008. On 31 March 2009 he was charged under two articles of the Criminal Code: stirring up national or religious hatred (Article 130) and libel against the president of Belarus (Article 367). The human rights activist was given a written pledge not to leave the town. Leanid Svetsik pleads innocent and thinks the criminal case is revenge for his human rights activity.