Mahiliou Regional Court rejects appeal by local activist
Mahiliou Regional Court considered yesterday an appeal lodged by a resident of the village of Lebiadzianka, Bialynichy district, Valery Vusik, who challenged an earlier decision by Bialynichy District Court to sentence the activist to a fine of 5 million rubles for alleged libel and for distributing the newspaper “Mahiliouski Vybar.”
As a result, Judge Pavel Klimau ruled to uphold the ruling of the district court and dismissed Valery Vusik’s appeal.
The Judge banned audio and video recording in the courtroom.
After the Judge listened to both sides, it took him only five minutes to make a decision to dismiss the complaint.
Mahiliou human rights defender Barys Bukhel is appalled by the court decision, “Frankly, I had hoped that the Regional Court would cancel the judgment of Bialynichy District Court and close the case. Unfortunately, the Court did not take into account the convincing arguments by the lawyer and Valery Vusik, the fact that the district court of Bialynichy denied him the right to legal protection and access to a lawyer; it also failed to call witnesses for the defense, and his right to freedom of expression was violated. It looks like from the very beginning the Regional Court classified the case as political, hence the judge’s attitude, who did not take into account any evidence by Valery Vusik and his counsel.”
The activist says he is going to continue protecting his rights.
“I will continue to fight for justice, after obtaining the order of Mahiliou Regional Court I will appeal the judge's decision; I will file a complaint to the Chairman of the Court. Of course, now it is very hard for me, I was hoping that the Regional Court would sort out the situation and cancel the unjust ruling of Bialynichy District Court. However, I they won’t break me, I will continue protecting my rights,” says Valery Vusik.