Zhlobin: trial of Fair World member still underway
A court in Zhlobin
has once again adjourned the trial in the case of Yauhen Basareuski, member of
the "Fair World" Left-wing party, charged under Article 424 of the
Criminal Code ("abuse of power or of a position of authority"). Judge
Ina Sharshniova of Zhlobin District Court put off the hearing till November 14,
without giving any reason.
The last time the trial, where the state prosecutor asked to sentence the activist to three years of imprisonment, was held on September 28. Its continuation was appointed on October 30, but the Judge postponed the hearing for another two weeks.
In total, the trial of Yauhen Basareuski has been underway since 2010, when the activists tried to run in the elections to local councils.
On the eve of the 2010 local elections, the State Control Committee inspected the department of municipal property, which for five years (from 2004 to 2009) had been headed by Yauhen Basareuski. The SCC found that the company had evaded paying 50% of the rent, which caused damage to the state of more than 180 million rubles. Yauhen Basareuski and former accountant of the department Valiantsina Kastsiukevich faced criminal charges.
Yauhen Basareuski noted that he had been repeatedly suggested withdrawing from the election by officials from the executive committee, so as not to face “troubles”. However, the activist refused.
According to Mr. Basareuski, during his years of work in the department all the inspections had passed without any warnings, while the last one was held at the time of the elections to local councils and revealed the alleged violations.
The Court ordered an additional examination, which showed that some of the revenue from renting buildings had been regularly paid to the government. Despite this, the prosecutor demanded to punish Basareuski with three years of imprisonment.
Yauhen Basareuski believes that the delays in conducting the trial, which, is apparently falling apart, show a clear political trail in the criminal case and the reluctance of local authorities to recognize Basareuski and his former colleague not guilty of the charges.