Ales Ramanovich's case: to be continued
The trial of the administrative case of a member of the Belarusian Popular Front and the For Freedom movement Ales Ramanovich was postponed to 10 a.m. on 10 August. Yesterday, the Pinsk Town and District Court started reviewing the case after the earlier verdict had been reversed by the Brest Region Court.
The trial was postponed due to the absence of the investigator and the police inspector (who are witnesses in the case) and a witness from the side of Mr. Ramanovich.
Bear in mind that on 16 June the Pinsk Town and District Court fined the activist 1,050,000 rubles (about $350) for 'illegal production of printed editions'. Ales Ramanovich didn’t agree with the verdict and lodged a cassation complaint with the Brest Region Court with the assistance of human rights defenders.
As a result, the verdict was abolished and the case was returned for consideration by another judge, Dzmitry Svitsin.
'At the beginning of yesterday's court sitting I entered a motion for dropping the case because of the expiry of the terms of administrative punishment,' said A.Ramanovich. 'However, the judge answered that the legal terms haven't expired since the abolishment of the verdict by the Brest Region Court.'
The activist tried challenged the judge as he either didn't know the Code of Administrative Offences or was an interested person. However, the challenge wasn't granted.
'The sitting lasted for more than three hours, as the judge started to deep in the details of each printout from my hard drive and each copy of the newspapers that had been confiscated from me during the April search,' said Mr. Ramanovich. 'I repeatedly turned his attention that these materials are more than one year old and all legal terms are over. Eventually, I said that I won't answer his questions any more, to which he answered that it was my right and started interrogating other people. They evidently want to exact the fine from me, the more that my case is controlled by the KGB,' commented the activist.