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Judge in Homyel hearing opposition activist`s suit against police

2012 2012-03-28T12:43:08+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en

A judge of Homyel`s Tsentralny District Court on Tuesday resumed a hearing on opposition activist Uladzimir Nyapomnyashchykh’s lawsuit against the local police.

Mr. Nyapomnyashchykh, a retired police officer who is a member of the United Civic Party, is seeking 9,000,000 rubels (approximately $1000) in "moral damages" from the district police station whose officers held him in pretrial detention for three days without a charge.

On October 7, 2011, Mr. Nyapomnyashchykh was arrested in his hometown of Homyel while distributing flyers advertising a “Narodny Skhod" (People’s Assembly) rally scheduled for the following day, and placed in a detention center where he was held until October 10 without a charge.

On October 10, he was put on trial. Judge Alena Tsalkova of the Tsentralny District Court found him guilty of organizing an unsanctioned mass event and sentenced him to a fine.

Only after his trial, Mr. Nyapomnyashchykh learned that the police had also formally charged him with uttering obscenities in what he believes was an attempt to justify his pretrial detention.

Judge Iryna Kavalevich began hearing the lawsuit on March 14. The hearing was postponed after a representative of the district police station said that the station is not a legal entity and may not be sued.

After representatives of the city police department and the financial ministry exchanged at the session on Tuesday arguments against their entities being declared the defendant, the judge decided that the interior ministry would be the party responding to the complaint.

“I don’t care who will be the defendant,” Mr. Nyapomnyashchykh commented BelaPAN. “What I want is that the policemen who detained me illegally are punished and I am compensated for the moral damages. All of them freely play dirty, but no one seems to be willing to answer for this.”

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