District court upholds disbarment of lawyer for former presidential candidates

2011 2011-10-28T14:05:42+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en

A judge of the Maskowski District Court in Minsk on Friday rejected lawyer Tamara Sidarenka's appeal against her disbarment. 

Mrs. Sidarenka defended former presidential candidates Uladzimir Nyaklyayew and Ales Mikhalevich in a so-called mass disorder case. 

On August 17 the justice ministry's qualifications committee terminated the lawyer's license on the grounds that she had violated regulations on two occasions earlier this year. 

In particular, the lawyer was accused of falsely claiming in interviews with media outlets that she had been denied access to Mr. Nyaklyayew during his detention. In addition, the authorities found "certain irregularities" in her contracts with clients. 

Ms. Sidarenka announced plans to continue fighting her disbarment. "I view this decision as illegal and will file a further appeal with the Minsk City Court," she told BelaPAN

The justice ministry has been accused of putting pressure on defense lawyers for opposition figures charged in the case opened over a post-election street protest that took place in Minsk on December 19, 2010. 

Four of the lawyers had their licenses revoked by the justice ministry in February. 

Pavel Sapelka, the defense lawyer for former presidential candidate Andrey Sannikaw and two other prominent opposition figures, was disbarred on March 3.