Chairman of Vitsebsk court suggests prosecuting civil society activist over insult of judge

2013 2013-06-17T11:41:50+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Piotr Ivanou

Piotr Ivanou

Vitsebsk civil society activist Piotr Ivanov asked the authorities to initiate criminal proceedings against Judge Valiantsina Kismiaroshkina, who, in his opinion, knowingly violated the law and unjustly punished him with a fine of 4 million rubles in the administrative case. However, it seems that it is the activist himself who may face criminal charges: such a proposal to the head of the Investigative Committee of Vitsebsk region, Uladzimir Shalukhina, was made by the Chairman of Pershamaiski District Court of Vitsebsk Andrushchanka.

“As for Ivanov’s request to open a criminal case filed in the Investigative Committee, the analysis of its content (...) gives grounds to initiate a check (...) for the presence in the actions of Ivanov the elements of crimes referred to in Articles 369, 391, 400 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus,” says the chief judge of the district court to the head of the Investigative Committee’s local office. A copy of the letter was sent the Prosecutor of Vitsebsk region, Henadz Dysko.

Article 369 of the Criminal Code (insulting a government official) provides for the maximum punishment of restriction of liberty for up to 2 years. The remaining articles, which, according to the chairman of the district court, were abused by Piotr Ivanov are as follows: Article 391, an insult to the judge (can be punishable by restraint of liberty for a term of up to 3 years); Article 400, knowingly false accusation (restriction of liberty for up to 2 years).

Mr. Ivanov was fined 4 mln on 17 April, after he witnessed the detention of BCD activists Aliaksei Kishchuk and Stanislau Laurenau, who staged a rally in support of political prisoners. The activist then filed a complaint against the police officers, who, according to him, violated traffic rules during the detention of the activists. His statement was followed by an administrative case, but in the end it wasn’t the policemen who were punished, but Ivanov himself - for false testimony. And at the same time he was convicted of resisting law enforcement employees, who detained him. The trial was led by Judge Valiantsina Kismiaroshkina and the policemen were the witnesses in the case.

Now, it seems that the story may repeat itself, but with more serious consequences for Piotr Ivanov. After all, it is not an administrative offense, but criminal charges he is facing.

“Criminals” - this is how Piotr Ivanov named Valiantsina Kismiaroshkina and the policemen who testified against him in his statement to the Investigative Committee, asking to bring them to justice. But, according to the chairman of the district court, the “criminal” is perhaps Ivanov himself.

According to the website “Vitsebsk Viasna