Mahiliou Regional Court rejects appeal of BSDP activist Mikalai Zalozny
Mahiliou Regional Court considered yesterday an appeal of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Hramada) and its activist Mikalai Zalozny lodged to contest an earlier ruling by Leninski District Court of Mahiliou of 31 May, 2013 on a statement made by head of the city’s dormitory system, Pavel Shyshou, who named the party a “gang” in his interview to the BelaPAN news agency.
During the trial, Mr. Shyshou said that the voice on the recording was not his and that the entire thing was fake.
Judge Andrei Yurchanka of Leninski District Court rejected requests by the representative of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party, Ihar Barysau, to listen to the working recording of the conversation between Pavel Shyshou and BelaPAN reporter Ales Asiptsou that became the basis of the interview posted on the news agency’s web-site. The audio materials were not sent for an expert’s examination, and Ales Asiptsou was not questioned by the Judge.
As a result, the Civil Board of Mahiliou Regional Court presided by Judge Sviatlana Stelmakhova dismissed the appeal, saying that the decision of the district court was legitimate and justified.
A representative of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party, Ihar Barysau, was not authorized to attend the hearing.
"The judges said that I did not have a power of attorney to represent the interests of the party in this lawsuit. Meanwhile, the paper has been written so that I could represented the Belarusian Social Democratic Party and its activist Mikalai Zalozny in Leninski District Court of Mahiliou, which I did before, and there is a general power of attorney to represent the interests of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party and its members in all courts. I see no reason not to allow me to process," said Ihar Barysau.
Mikalai Zalozny said that the Regional Court refused to listen to the recording, as well as the report itself made by journalist Ales Asiptsou.
"The decision is illegal. We will appeal it. The trial revealed that our courts are dependent on the government and it is impossible to find justice there. Even such a minor official as Shyshov is protected by the authorities with all possible means to prevent a failure in the system. If any such precedent is established by the judicial system that the democrats win a lawsuit against an official - the system will collapse in an instant," says the Belarusian Social Democratic Party activist Mikalai Zalozny.
The Hramada activists are going to submit a complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee to appeal the violation of the right to a fair trial.