Vitsebsk judge goes unpunished
“The investigation into the facts of gross disrespect to the participants of the trial by Judge of the Court of Kastrychnitski District of Vitsebsk I.V. Hrabouskaya failed to find grounds for initiating disciplinary proceedings against her,” says an official letter from the first deputy head of the Justice Department of Vitsebsk regional executive committee Ihar Karzhou in response to a statement sent to said department by the head of Vitsebsk regional office of the Belarusian Popular Front Party Leanid Autukhou.
Leanid Autukhou asked the Department of Justice to institute disciplinary proceedings against Judge Ina Hrabouskaya, who on March 25 issued a decision to punish him and his fellow party member Kanstantsin Smolikau with administrative arrest for distributing newspapers and leaflets in a local shopping center. The said decision, according to the politician, is contrary to the law, as the court was biased and prejudiced, and the judge failed to protect his civil and political rights and legitimate interests.
Leanid Autukhou said in his statement that the judge’s behavior was rude and disrespectful to the people present in the courtroom. The party leader also cited a number of violations of the law: in ruling, Judge Hrabouskaya failed to consider the fact that he had been detained for more than 48 hours, which is contrary to paragraph 2, Article 11.2 of the Procedural Executive Code of Administrative Offences; in addition, he was not given enough time to find a lawyer and prepare his defense. Therefore, the BPF member says the decision is unfair and not based on the law, while Judge Hrabouskaya should be punished. However, the Justice Department did not listen to the arguments and refused to meet the request.