Leanid Autukhou sentenced to a fine
The basis for the administrative cases considered by the Haradok District Court is a record in the book of complaints made by a member of the Belarusian Popular Front Party Leanid Autukhou.
In this record he compared the head of the Haradok District Department for Labour, Employment and Social Security Piatro Prasolau with "terrorists in Lugansk and Donetsk." The court sentenced Mr. Autukhou to a fine of 30 basic units.
The trial started back on March 30. April 9, Judge Aliaksandra Nosava imposed the fine on the defendant. For this time, the Haradok District Police Department managed to change the charges to him.
Mr. Autukhou put the aformentioned record in the book of complaints after he had been removed from the register for unemployment at the employment center. The activist is sure that it was illegal.
By his record he wanted to emphasize that the head of the District Department for Labor, Employment and Social Security, Mr. Prasolaumade an unlawful decision. However, the official regarded these words as an insult. “I wanted Piatro Prasolau's bosses to pay attention to the record in the complaint book, but instead he appeal to the police. A violation report under Article 9.3 of the Code of Administrative Offenses, "insulting, deliberate humiliation of honor and dignity of an individual in an unseemly manner". On March 30 the trial started and Judge Nosava immediately announced a break for a week. Without stating it at the court hearing, she returned the violation report to the police for revision. I learned it by chance when I came to the court study the materials of the case in more detail. However, they weren't there.”
The judge told Mr. Autukhou to come on March 3 in the afternoon. However, the police came to the court and stated that they had drawn up a new report against the activist, under Article 23.5 of the Code of Administrative Offenses, "insulting an official in the performance of official duties by a person not subordinated to him."
Leanid Autukhou can only guess about the fate of the violation report and the first case – at the beginning of the new court hearing the judge said that there was no older case any longer and she was considering the new one.
“There were no obscene words in my recording, but the police initially drew up a report with such an accusation. The judge sent the documents “for revision”. However, no one revised them. Instead, a new violation report was drawn up,” continues Leanid Autukhou.
During the trial, he requested that the police captain Sobaleu, who had drawn up the new report without even taking explanations, be summoned as a witness. However, the judge granted neither this motion, nor four other motions stated by L. Autukhou. One of them concerned the participation of a defense lawyer.
“On March 8, when the consideration of the new case started, I decided to use the services of a lawyer and informed the court about it. The judge announced one-day break so that I could find a lawyer. I started looking for a counsel in Vitsebsk, but there were no free lawyers in the Vitsebsk Bar Association. I returned to Haradok and found a lawyer who was free only until 4 p.m. She agreed to defend me, but was absent from work in the morning, and I didn't manage to enter into a service agreement with her. The trial started at 2 p.m., that's why I asked for an extra break in order to come to the lawyer for the agreement by 4 p.m. However, the judge said she would not wait. He also asked Piatro Prasolau's opinion, and he said that there was no reason to for delays.”
Mr. Autukhou is sure that the trial was conducted with violations of the law and his rights, as well as that his rights were violated by his removal from the register for unemployment, and earlier, in 2008 when he was fired before the election to the House of Representatives, for which he was running. Since then, he has made more than 40 attempts to get employed, but didn't manage to get a job even with the assistance of the district department for social employment.