“Dark things are done behind closed doors”: Leanid Sudalenka writes about his trial
Viasna’s office in Homieĺ published excerpts from the letters human rights defender Leanid Sudalenka has sent to a local activist Vasil Paliakou, which reveal some details about the closed trial currently underway at the Centraĺny District Court.
The hearings started on September 3. Leanid Sudalenka, together with volunteers Tatsiana Lasitsa and Maryia Tarasenka, are accused of “organizing and preparing actions that grossly violate public order” (Part 1 of Article 342 of the Criminal Code) and “training and preparing individuals to participate in such actions”, as well as their “financing or other material support” (Part 2 of Article 342).
At the request of prosecutors, judge Siarhei Salouski ruled to heat the criminal charges in closed sessions.
Leanid Sudalenka writes that he appealed against the court’s decision to close the trial:
“Dark things are done behind closed doors, and you can’t argue with that. I appealed, however, demanding that the trial be made public."
Political prisoner Tatsiana Lasitsa was sick on the first day of the trial:
“The trial lasted until 1 pm, then an ambulance was called for Tatsiana and that was it. After lunch, the trial did not resume.”
Leanid has already filed nine motions – all of them were rejected:
“Two of them requesting release on bail. Denied.”
The prosecution is involved three prosecutors:
“The case has three prosecutors from the city prosecutor’s office. They support the accusation and seriously believe that defending human rights are illegal in the country!”
The court started hearing 61 witnesses:
“Boring, routine. He went out, looked to the left, got on the trolleybus [Leanid describes answers by some of the witnesses, which abound in valueless and irrelevant information]. And 97% of the case file is about nothing. They examined a series of pickets of 2019 Maryia Tarasenka staged to protest the decree on parasites. They may well soon go back to the 2010 elecitons.”
The human rights activist’s predictions as to the verdict are far from being optimistic:
“The verdict is already in the air. Judging by how [the trial] is progressing, the judge regrets that there is no place to go wild. He could have given more.”
“I think the girls (Lasitsa and Tarasenka) will not be convicted under Part 1 [of Art. 342]. Tatsiana will have to serve another six months. As for Maryia – we have suspense here. The minimum penalty under Part 2 is several months. I will be given the maximum term – minus a few months because of my child. So, the ‘discharge’ is the spring of 2023. And then who knows what.”
Leanid plans to appeal against the verdict and does not lose hope for release:
“I agree 100% that the issue of release is a matter of time. I would like to walk free faster, but, apparently, they still have a margin of stability.”
Leanid Sudalenka will turn 55 on September 23. Unfortunately, the human rights activist will celebrate his birthday behind bars. Send your birthday wishes to Leanid!
SIZO-3, 246003, Homieĺ, vul. Knižnaja, 1A
Leanid Leanidavich Sudalenka
(Леаніду Леанідавічу Судаленку)