Court considers oppositionists’ complaints in their absence
On 31 July, Minsk city court considered a complaint of Uladzimir Kumets, an activist of the civil campaign European Belarus, convicted for ‘Freedom to Autukhovich!’ banner.
The activist of the civil campaign European Belarus filed a complaint against the decision of Tsentralny district court according to which Uladzimir Kumets and Maxim Viniarski were accused under Article 17.1 (disorderly conduct) for hanging a banner ‘Freedom to Autukhovich!’ on the bridge above Niamiha Street in Minsk on 30 June.
‘The trial was appointed for 3 p.m., but a wrong cabinet was indicated in the schedule. I was late for the trial, it was carried out in absentia,’ Uladzimir Kumets tells. ‘The complaint wasn’t satisfied. The arguments of the complaint contradict the circumstances of the case, the proofs and witness’s testimony, and are based on personal presentation of the circumstances to avoid the responsibility, so they can’t be found grounded,’ reads the court verdict. The trial was conducted by judge I.Krot.
Uladzimir Kumets says he is going to appeal against the judgment in the Supreme Court.
‘In spite of this, I will appeal against the judgment at the Supreme Court, because I find this decision illegal, my actions weren’t an offence, false records and witnesses were used against me. This demonstrates that human rights are violated in our country, any person can be convicted on farfetched grounds on orders from above,’ Uladzimir Kumets commented on the situation to the website jeans-by.com.
Maxim Viniarski, detained with Uladzimir Kumets for hanging out a banner, was present at the trial as a witness, though he had made a complaint against the court decision and hadn’t been invited to the trial. He learnt on an occasion that his complaint would be considered by another case on 3 p.m. on 31 July. Viniarski explained the judge he wouldn’t come to the trial without a writ and a lawyer. Judge Khrabastau delayed the trial until 7 August.
‘If I hadn’t come to support Uladzimir Kumets by my testimony, I wouldn’t have learnt about considering my complaint. This is a grave violation from a legal point of view and a violation of human rights, disregarded in our country. Such violations are ordinary for representatives of the legal power. This negligence of the representatives of law should be suppressed,’ Maxim Viniarski said.
On 30 June, activists of the civil campaign European Belarus Maxim Viniarski and Uladzimir Kumets hung out a banner ‘Freedom to Autukhovich’ on the bridge above Nyamiha Street and were arrested by police. A report under Article 17.1 of the Administrative Code was drawn up against them. The oppositionists were accused of using foul language and insulting police officers. The court fined them 350 000 rubles.