Brest Regional Court dismisses Viktar Syrytsa's appeal
judge of the Brest Regional Court Natallia Surma didn't grant the
cassation appeal of the social activist Viktar Syrytsa agaisnt the
ruling of the Baranavichy City and District Court on the case of the
Bear in mind that by the ruling of Judge Katsiaryna Hruda of 31 July 2013 Viktar Syrytsa was found guilty under Article 23.34 of the Code of Administrative Offenses and sentenced to a fine of 2 million rubles for the alleged preparation and organization of an unauthorized rally in Milavidy on 2 June 2013.
In the beginning Viktar Syrytsa made a motion, asking the regional court to return his case to the court of the first instance, which had ignored the Act which had been signed by nine citizens on 2 June. He also attached to his motion the written explanations which were given by Viachaslau Bolbat, Siarhei Housha, Uladzimir Hundar, Anzhalika Kambalava and Halina Yarashevich, which were the participants of the journey to the official holiday in Milavidy and were eager to testify at court. However, Judge Natallia Surma found no reasons to grant the petition of the social activist.
Viktar Syrytsa tried to prove to the regional court that no unauthorized mass event was held on 2 June near the Milavidy monuments. What he really did was the organization of people to the official holiday, announced by the state-owned newspaper “Nash Krai”. He didn't hold a rally in Milavidy, but just explained to the people why the official holiday didn't take place and told them what can be done next.
According to Mr. Syrytsa, the court of the first instance didn't take into consideration the act which was composed on 2 June 2013 and signed by nine people. The fact that no rally was held in Milavidy was also witnessed by the written errand of the prosecutor to the Baranavichy DPD, which was also ignored by the court. The prosecutor obliged the DPD to hold an investigation into the fact of holding a cultural festival on 2 June in the village of Rusino (Sasnovaya Street, 5) in the Baranavichy district. However, instead of it the DPD drew two violation reports on Viktar Syrytsa for the alleged holding of the “unauthorized rally” in Milavidy which hadn't taken place.
Viktar Syrytsa stated that he considered the court verdict as unlawful due to the one-sided and non-objective elucidation of the circumstances of the administrative violation, and therefore asked to abolish the ruling of the Baranavichy City and District Court of 31 July 2013 and drop the case because of the absence of corpus delicti.
However, Judge Natallia Surma didn't find any reasons to abolish the 2-million-ruble fine for the preparation and organization of the unauthorized rally in Milavidy on 2 June 2013.
“I still had some hopes, though during the last 20 years the Brest Regional Court has never abolished any rulings of the Baranavichy City Court. I have very strong arguments, but the court takes into consideration only the testimonies of Major Kuliashou, an officer of the Baranavichy District Police Department. The court of the first instance and the Brest Regional Court totally ignored the act which was signed by nine people,” pointed Viktar Syrytsa.
He also stated about his intention to appeal to the supreme court instances, and first of all – to the head of the Brest Regional Court.