Shklou: Ryhor Kastusiou fined
On December 23, the Shklou District Court fined Ryhor Kastusiou, deputy chairman of the BPF party, 3.37 mln rubles for participation in the celebration of the Day of Remembrance of Kastus Kalinouski rebels in Svislach on October 26.
The charges were considered by Judge Svialana Barantsava.
At the request of Ryhor Kastusiou the Judge considered the administrative case in the Belarusian language. Yury Sadouski and Dzianis Pauliuchenia, employees of the Svislach district police department, were invited to the court to testify as witnesses.
According to Yury Sadouski, an employee of the juvenile inspection, who was observing the unauthorized event in plain clothes, Ryhor Kastusiou participated in the rally and the march, but did not make any illegal calls. The only offense he could remember was that during the speeches at the monuments the activists unfolded two white-red-white flags, as well as the fact that in his speech in Yakushouka Ryhor Kastusiou told about the danger for the independence of Belarus. However, Mr. Sadouski confirmed that it was not Ryhor Kastusiou who was holding the flags. Nor could he accurately answer whether he had seen himself Mr. Kastusiou participate in the march.
The other witness, senior inspector of prevention Dzianis Pauliuchenia, told the court that he was responsible for protection of public order during the celebration of the Day of Remembrance in Svislach on October 26. Basically, he cited the same evidence of offenses allegedly committed by Ryhor Kastusiou, such as his presence at the cemetery. However, the police officer said that at the end of his speech all present shouted “their slogan “Long Live Belarus!” Perhaps police officer Dzianis Pauliuchenia believes that Belarus should not exist as an independent state.
Those present in the courtroom were able to see three videos that were shot by employees of the Svislach district police department. It turned out that in addition to Dzianis Pauliuchenia the event was filmed by another employee of the police department, Major Charniauski. It should be noted that the video footage had no date and it was almost impossible to hear what the speakers said due to poor sound quality.
In his speech at the court, Ryhor Kastusiou pleaded not guilty of the administrative offense, since participation in the funeral of activist Viktar Dziasiatsik, laying flowers at the monuments and candles near them, honoring the memory of the heroes cannot be an offense. Kastusiou also stressed that employees of the Svislach police department violated the terms of compiling the offense report, as well as committed other violations.
Judge Sviatlana Barantsava did not take into account the arguments of Ryhor Kastusiou and decided to punish the politician with a fine of 25 basic units.
According to Mr. Kastusiou, he will certainly appeal against the court ruling to the Mahiliou Regional Court.
On October 26, 2014, the town of Svislach hosted the traditional event in memory of the 1863 anti-Russian uprising heroes, which was attended by opposition activists from different regions of Belarus. The event was attended by the deputy chairman of the Belarusian Popular Front Party Ryhor Kastusiou.
The entire event, starting from the cemetery to the rally in Svislach, was followed by people in plain clothes and a police cameraman. A number of participants in the celebration have already been punished with heavy fines.