Vitsebsk Regional Court upholds sentence to Heorhi Stankevich
Heorhi Stankevich, the
editor of the small-circulation newspaper “Kryvinka” applied to the court with
the request to review the administrative case according to which he had been
fined by the Beshankovichy District Court.
According to Heorhi Stankevich, Volha Belavus, Judge of the Beshankovichy District Court, violated his linguistic rights and the right to defense during the trial. As a result he even left the court hall in protest.
“I was charged with violation of the order of distribution of the edition. I was detained on 5 November and the term for imposing penalties for such violations is two months. That’s why the trial was urgently appointed on 6 December. However, the lawyer I hired for it was busy that day and didn’t manage to come to Beshankovichy from Vitsebsk. However, the judge decided not to postpone the trial and tried me in the absence of the lawyer. A school teacher was taken to the trial as an interpreter from the Belarusian language (as I speak only Belarusian). She openly said that she didn’t know how to translate. Can justice be achieved in such conditions?” asked Mr. Stankevich.
Nevertheless, the Vitsebsk Regional Court upheld the verdict of the lower court. Now Heorhi Stankevich also intends to apply to the Supreme Court. He also filed an appeal against the judge’s actions with the Beshankovichy District Court and the justice department.