Case of freelance journalist Tamara Shchapiotkina returned for a new trial
T. Schapiotkina and her lawyer Pavel Alesik managed to prove in the regional court that Judge Aliaksandr Semianchuk had violated the law by conducting the trial in her absence though she and her lawyer were at the court at that time. The cassation court agreed that by his actions the judge deprived the journalist of the right to a fair trial.
After listening to Tamara Shchapiotkina and her lawyer, Brest Regional Court judge Natallia Surma decided to return the case to the Leninski District Court for consideration by another judge.
According to the human rights activist Raman Kisliak, the result of the trial was predictable. Schapiotkina was not invited to the court in a proper way: instead of a formal writ she was sent an SMS-message, which did not specify its author and the number of the office where the trial was to be held. The activist also stated that the fact that the trial was conducted in the absence of the defendant despite her presence in the court building breaks all possible legal norms.