Viasna seeks details in case of Mikhail Zhamchuzhny
The Human Rights Center “Viasna” has written to the Chairman of the Supreme Court asking to disclose details of the criminal case of Mikhail Zhamchuzhny, a co-founder of the Platform Innovation NGO, who stood trial behind closed doors.
The petition asks Valiantsin Sukala “to clarify the essence of the criminal case against Mikhail Zhamchuzhny, the nature of the information, which he obtained in violation of the law, as well as the motives of the convict as established by the court, within the range that will not entail the disclosure of information protected by law.”
According to the authors, the above details will affect Viasna’s assessment of reasonableness and motives for the prosecution of Mikhail Zhamchuzhny and enable the human rights defenders to conclude whether the prosecution is related to his human rights activities.
The request was sent after on October 23 the Supreme Court considered the convict’s appeal in a closed session, and, at the request of the prosecutor, ruled to increase the sentence by six months.
On July 10, the Viciebsk Regional Court sentenced Mikhail Zhamchuzhny to 6 years in a penal colony. He was charged under several articles of the Criminal Code: Art. 376 (Part 1, 2), Art. 375 (Part 1), Art. 431 (Part 1, 2). This includes intentional disclosure of information constituting an official secret, illegal acquisition (production) of means for secretly obtaining information constituting an official secret, as well as bribery. Considering the closed nature of the trial, the HRC “Viasna” does not possess sufficient information to assess the criminal case.