BelSat journalist sentenced to 10 days of prison
Ivan Shulha, journalist of the Poland-based BelSat independent TV channel, has been sentenced to 10 days of imprisonment for violating Article 17.1 of the Civil Code (disorderly conduct).
The journalist was arrested on 3 February while trying to stop the unwarranted police intrusion into his lodgings in downtown Minsk. He was accused of using violence against one of the policemen.
The trial proved to be neither public nor fair, for Judge Mrs. Aksana Reliava dismissed the motion for testimonial evidence by Mr. Shulha’s neighbour, who had witnessed part of the incident. Besides, the evidence given by police Captain Valyntsau and Lieutenant Karalkou were extremely inconsistent. In her statement, the journalist’s legal counsel Mrs. Sviatlana Harbatok said Ivan Shulha’s guilt was not proven. However, the court failed to dismiss the case in the absence of civil offence in the act.