Astravets: another trial of Ivan Kruk
A new administrative case against Ivan Kruk, a local civil activist, is being considered in the town of Astravets.
This time, Mr. Kruk is charged with defamation of Mikhail Zimnitski, executive officer of the Astravets District Executive Committee, who filed the appropriate lawsuit. It was Zimnitski, who was Deputy Chairperson of the Astravets district election commission during the latest election, who did everything possible to prevent the registration of Ivan Kruk as a candidate for the district council.
Ivan Kruk composed a complaint to the Hrodna region election commission for elector Uladzimir Maskevich. In this document, Maskevich stated that Zimnitski had made him refuse from his signature in support of the candidacy of Ivan Kruk. This complaint was forwarded to the Astravets district executive committee for consideration. According to Mr. Kruk, at that time Mr. Maskevich was summoned to the DEC and made to refuse from his complaint under the threat of dismissal from work.
Then Zimnitski wrote a complaint asking to instigate a criminal case against Kruk for libeling him in the complaint. The procuracy refused to do it, as it was the first case of libel, and an administrative case was brought instead of it.
However, the plaintiff didn’t come to the trial today. Moreover, the only witness has changed his testimony several times.
Mikalai Ulasevich, an activist of the United Civil Party present at the trial, is alerted by the fact that the plaintiff didn’t come to the trial and the judge dismissed the motion for summoning 13 witnesses who could clear up the situation.
Ulasevich: ‘In fact, it is an attempt to silence Kruk who accuses them of committing a crime by unlawfully depriving him of the right to run at the election.’
The trial will continued on 6 July. We should remind that last month Ivan Kruk won a trial in which he was charged with distributing unregistered printed production during the election campaign.