Hrodna: hearing of administrative case against Ales Dzianisau and Ales Kirkevich to continue April 22
April 15, the first hearing on ad aministrative case against the freelance journalists Ales Dzianisau and Ales Kirkevich took place in Hrodna.
Both defendants are charged under Article 22.9, Part 2 of the Code of Administrative Offenses, “illegal production and distribution of information products”. The case concerns the video report, broadcast at the TV channel BelSat in the beginning of March, which concerned the opening of an exhibition of Sluck belts at the Belarusian State Museum of the History of Religion.
The hearing was led by Judge Alena Piatrova, notorious for her former punitive sentences on "political" administrative cases. The judge didn't grant any petitions of Mr. Kirkevich, who solicited for recording his testimony in the minutes of the trial in Belarusian, the language which he spoke. The judge stated that the court records were maintained in Russian. Thus, she illegally gave the secretary the powers of a translator. All in all, there was an impression that the judge was unprepared for the trial. First of all, the hearing started later that appointed, and the judge was unaware of the presence of a summoned witness at court. After questioning Dzianisau, Kirkevich and the witness, senior employee of the Museum of History of Religion Halina Khamko, she postponed the trial to April 22.