Hrodna: journalist Andrei Mialeshka got fined 60 mln rubles
December 2, Hrodna freelance journalist Andrei Mialeshka was sentenced to another fine under Article 22.9, Part 2 of the Code of Administrative Offenses (illegal production and distribution of information products). Judge of the Leninski District Court of Hrodna Yury Kazakevich fined the journalist 6 million Belarusian rubles.
October 16 this year, Andrei Mialeshka recorded a short commentary of an author of a historical book, processor of Hrodna University named after Yanka Kupala Valery Charapitsa, at a presentation at the regional library. Later the audio was posted at the website of Radio “Racyja”. The Leninski DPD has brought an administrative case against Mr. Mialeshka for this “violation”.
At the trial, the first witness, Head of the Department of Slavic States of Hrodna University Valery Charapitsa confirmed having given a commentary to Mr. Mialeshka. Another witness, Chair of the Journalism Department Tamara Pivavarchyk, gave confusing testimonies. Before the trial, in the report of questioning she stated that she had seen Mr. Mialeshka interviewing Mr. Charapitsa. At the trial she said the opposite and couldn't give clear answers to the judge's questions.
As a result of the proceedings, which lasted less than 90 minutes with a break, Judge Yury Kazakevich, despite the lack of evidence against Andrei Mialeshka and of the charges to the essence of the situation, found the journalist guilty and sentenced him to a heavy fine. Previously, April 4, 2014, this very judge fined 4.5 mln rubles another freelance journalist, Ales Dzianisau.
Bear in mind that this is already the third such penalty issued to Andrei Mialeshka for journalistic activities. June 16, Deputy Chair of Hrodna District Court Dzmitry Kedal fined him 4.5 million rubles and October 7 Hrodna District Court Judge Hanna Liavusik fined him 5,250,000 rubles.
Harassment of freelance journalists in Hrodna region continues. Another administrative case has been brought by Slonim District Police Department against the journalist Ales Zaleuski.