Vitsebsk resident Pyotr Ivanov: detained for leaflets, fined for “dirty swearing”
Vitebsk resident Pyotr Ivanov, a citizen of the
Russian Federation, representative of the party "United Russia" and
the activist of the civil campaign "Speak Truth," was fined 140,000
rubles for allegedly using foul language. He
had been detained for handing out leaflets calling for solidarity with Siarhei
At the final hearing on 27 January Pyotr Ivanov made a motion for disqualification the judge of the Kastrychnitski District Court of Vitsebsk Ina Hrabovskaya. He said that the judge demonstrated a unilateral approach, being reluctant to discriminate in the case. Ina Hrabouskaya turned down this motion, as well as all motions filed by the defendants since the beginning of the trial.
“The police witnesses gave confused testimonies. One of them lied that he had explained to me my rights and duties, even though my signature is absent in the report, as there was no even talk about it. Otherwise some witnesses were to have signed the report instead of me, but it wasn’t done either. However, the police officer stated that I was allegedly going to sign the paper later and was even directed to the pre-trial prison with this document,” said Pyotr Ivanov.
He also explained that the court didn’t consider the original report which had been composed on 6 January (in which he was charged with “calling to ant-state activities” which allegedly manifested in the calls to come to the trial of Siarhei Kavalenka). On 9 January he was presented a new violation report for familiarization – that he had allegedly used foul language. There were no signatures on this paper, and the judge could see it with her own eyes.
Only policemen testified at the trial. Having written that he “sword dirtily aloud in public”, they failed to present the personal data of any people who witnessed it. Nevertheless, judge Ina Hrabouskaya found the police testimonies objective and trustworthy and fined the defendant, who had also spent almost three days in custody awaiting the trial.
Pyotr Ivanov is going to appeal against the unfair verdict. “I will also inform the Embassy of the Russian Federation and personally Aliaksandr Lukashenka about this trial – I have submitted information about my detention, as well as the leaflets which became the reason for the conflict, to both these adressees. I don’t deny having distributed the leaflets, because I consider politically motivated imprisonment of people inadmissible for any state,” commented Mr. Ivanov.