Homel journalist fined Br5.4 million
Court of Chyhunachny district of Homel fined freelance journalist Kanstantsin Zhukouski 30 basic units (Br5.4 million).
Judge MikalaiBakunau found him guilty of violating Article 22.9 paragraph 2 of the Administrative Code (illegal production of media products), BelaPAN writes.
The administrative protocol, considered by the Court, states that on February 5 at the secondary school No.12 Zhukouski held an illegal interview with members of educational institution without accreditation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a foreign journalist". On February 6 Belsat TV channel launched the material about death of three-month old baby girl and school teaches and employees of child health center punished for it.
It is a resonance story: a mummified body of a three-month old baby girl, which laid almost eight months in a closed apartment. The alleged murderers - the mother of a girl and her partner - were detained. School and child health center employees were punished.
At the trial, the freelance journalist explained the situation had affected him and he had decided to inform the public about the details of the criminal case, and especially about the problem of punishment of teachers and doctors. He noted that teachers with partner opened the door with an axe, when they were looking for the missing girl.
"Where were the police? Was it looking for opposition or drawing up protocols as now it has drawn up against me? Where was the Head of the Chyhunachny district department of Internal Affairs? Why did authorities jeopardize teacher's life who together with a killer with an axe in hands was opening the door of the apartment?" - the journalist said on the trial.
To sort out the situation Zhukouski, in his words, visited school No. 12, shot the video and uploaded on YouTube. He says the Constitution guarantees him the right on gathering and dissemination of information. He added that he had not produced "media products", because he was not authorized to do it as he was not an employee of Belsat TV channel, an author of the story was a different person.
Witnesses from school No. 12, Deputy Head teacher on educational work and cloakroom attendant filmed by Zhukouski were summoned to court. They confirmed Zhukouski had made video with them, but they had no claims.
The journalist demanded to conduct the trial in Belarusian, due to the right guaranteed by the Constitution, but the judge denied the request, and did not allow the BAJ lawyer Leanid Sudalenka to present interests of Zhukouski in court.