Prosecutor General’s Office replies to journalist’s complaint
Mahiliou freelance journalist Ales Burakou has received an answer to his complaint, which he sent to the Prosecutor General’s Office. The reply is signed by First Deputy Prosecutor of the Mahiliou region Aleh Pimashkou.
On August 10, 2014, a decision of the Leninski District Court of Mahiliou imposed on the journalist an administrative penalty of 6,000,000 rubles. The court found Ales Burakou guilty of violating Part 2 of Article 22.9 of the Administrative Code (illegal manufacturing of media products), as he “unlawfully manufactured media products”, namely an article posted on the website of the company “Deutsche Welle”. The journalist appealed against the verdict to the Regional Court because, in his opinion, the evidence on which the court order was based was obtained in violation of the law: the actions of the police who seized computer equipment from the apartments of the journalist and his parents were illegal (regulations which authorized the searches had no legal force). On November 20, the Regional Court upheld the decision of the District Court.
Ales Burakou later received a reply from the Department of Archives and Records of the Ministry of Justice, which confirmed that the decisions, on the basis of which the police acted during the inspection of the journalist’s apartment, were drafted with violations of the law.
The response from the Prosecutor’s Office says that the actions and decisions of officials of both the Prosecutor’s Office and the Leninski district police department of Mahiliou are not subject to appeal. First Deputy Prosecutor of the Mahiliou region refers to Part 1 of Article 7.3 of the Procedural Executive Code, which states that “a complaint about the actions and decisions of a judge, an official body conducting administrative proceedings may be filed in the period of conducting an administrative proceeding before the pronouncement of a judgment in the case of an administrative offense”.
In the near future, Ales Burakou is going to appeal against the decision of the Mahiliou Regional Court of November 20.