Vitsebsk Regional Court dismissed appeal of Leanid Autukhou
Leanid Autukhou, the head of Vitsebsk
regional branch of the Belarusian Popular Front, wanted to appeal a
verdict, issued by Ina Harbatouskaya, Judge of Kastrychnitski
District Court of Vitsebsk, on 25 March.
By this verdict Mr. Autukhou was punished with five days of arrest for an alleged violation of the law "On Mass Events" which manifested in the distribution of the "Magistrate" bulletin, dedicated to the Freedom Day, in the shopping center "Evicom".
Autukhou's appeal was considered by Judge Iryna Smaliakova, who also dismissed his petition for holding the trial in the Belarusian language, and his later solicitation for challenge of the judge.
Judge Smaliakova wasn't convinced by the plaintiff's explanations concerning the circumstances of the detention on 23 March, when officers of Kastrychnitski District Police Department of Vitsebsk had charged the detainees with violation of the Law "On Mass Events" for handing out the bulletin. She also ignored violations on the part of Judge Ina Hrabouskaya, who had sentenced the both activists to five days of arrest. In his appeal Mr. Autukhou stated that Judge Hrabouskaya repeatedly ignored the norms of the Process-Executive Code on Administrative Offenses: she didn't consider his appeal against the excess by the administration of Kastrychnitski DPD of the 48-hour time limit for consideration of an administrative case, deprived him of the right to file an appeal to the head of the court against her own unlawful actions, violated the right of Kastus Smolikau to protection at court, etc.
Judge Smaliakova, as well as Judge Hrabouskaya, ignored the fact that the activists didn't conduct any action and didn't even know whether their rally on the Freedom Day was authorized at the time when the bulletins were handed out, as far as Leanid Autukhou didn't receive any answer to the authorization application.
When Kastus Smolikau, who was present at the hearing, stated that it was the authorities who violated the law first of all, the judge expelled him from the court room. After this she stated that the verdict of the lower court was to be left unchanged.