Retrial of Nina Bahinskaya ends in heavy fine
On 20 February, the Tsentralny District Court of Minsk re-examined the administrative case of Nina Bahinskaya, who was accused of participating in an unauthorized mass event held at the monument to Taras Shevchenko on 22 January.
On 23 January, the activist was punished by a fine of 20 basic units under Part 3 of Article 23.34 of the Administrative Code (participation in an unauthorized mass event repeatedly committed during one year).
However, during the consideration of Mrs. Bahinskaya’s appeal against the decision, Judge Kamisarau of the Minsk City Court came on February 3 to an unexpected conclusion that “the content of the descriptive and motivation parts of the sentence imposed by the district court on Nina Bahinskaya suggest that it was not clearly established in which event Bahinskaya participated on 22 January – in an unauthorized rally or unauthorized picketing”.
Therefore, the City Court ruled that the case should be sent for a new trial in the same district court.
Judge Shabunia, who examined the administrative case in the same court, proceeded from the fact that Mrs. Bahinskaya, knowing the actual case materials, presented them before the court from a perspective that was favorable to her:
“Bahinskaya’s arguments that she did not take part in an unsanctioned picket, but openly and peacefully expressed her citizenship under the current legislation, are found to be untrue by the court,” says the court ruling.
Thus the judge concluded that there were no grounds for the exemption of the activist from administrative liability and decided to fine her 20 basic units (3,600,000 rubles).
Nina Bahinskaya does not agree with the decision of the court and with the help of human rights defenders of the HRC “Viasna” will again appeal the ruling to a higher court.