Andrei Pachobut sentenced to 15 days in jail
On 11 February the Hrodna journalist Andrei Pachobut was sentenced to 15
days in jail for participation in the protest action on 19 December 2010 in central Minsk.
The case was considered by Natallia Pratasavitskaya, Judge of the Kastrychnitski District Court of Minsk. Andrei challenged the judge, as he actively stood for the introduction of visa sanctions towards state officials of Belarus and doubted that a judge who was subject to these sanctions could judge him fairly. However, the judge declined the challenge.
It should be noted that journalist Andrei Pachobut was detained by the police during the dispersal of the protest action. At first his case was considered by the Kastrychnitski District Court of Minsk. However, he was released and the case was directed for revising.
Later the journalist was tried by the Kastrychnitski District Court of Minsk, which sentenced him to a fine of 1.750,000 rubles (about $580). However, the procuracy considered this penalty as insufficient and lodged a protest with the Minsk City Court. The court agreed to the protest and returned the case back to the Kastrychnitski District Court. As a result, the journalist will spend 13.5 days in jail (he has already spent 1.5 days in detention, in the police car and in the court).