Human rights defender Leanid Sudalenka fined 500,000 over tax charges
A fine of five basic units (500,000 rubles) was awarded on November 21 by the Tax Inspection of Savetski District of Homel to human rights defender Leanid Sudalenka, after he faced charges under Article 23.9 of the Administrative Code (“violation of procedures for the submission of the tax declaration”).
The Tax Inspection
demanded a declaration of income over five years to be submitted by the human
rights activist, his wife and even his son, who is currently serving in the
Sudalenka refused to submit the declaration, quoting a number of reasons. First,
the tax authorities already demanded a declaration, which he did back in 2008. Then
the information on his income appeared in the newspaper "Homelskaya Prauda",
which is illegal and violates the law (“disclosure of information by a
government officer”). Apart
from that, Leanid Sudalenka urged the Tax Inspection to provide explanations on
whose behalf the inspection acted, who initiated the tax investigation, and, in
general, why the tax authorities were so curious about his family, and his son
in the army? Moreover,
the Inspection, according to the Civil Code, can demand a declaration of an
individual for a period not exceeding three years, and Leanid Sudalenka is
asked to report on a period of five years.
"Chief the Tax Inspection of Savetski District of Homel Kanstantsin Tratseuski considered the administrative charges and punished me with a fine, saying that he had to do this. The penalty under the article, by the way, is minimal. Officials explained that they punished me with a small fine, as they considered that I have three minor children. The officials explained that they grew interested in me and my family after I bought a car," said the human rights defender.
Besides the fine, Leanid Sudalenka will have to submit a new declaration. "I disagree with the ruling and will appeal, and I will file a declaration only for three years, under the law," said Leanid Sudalenka.