Investigators drop charges against more journalists in “BelTA case” Updated
On November 26, the Investigative Committee stopped criminal proceedings against tut.by editor Uliyana Babayed and BelaPAN political analyst Tatsiana Karaviankova, after they covered financial losses to the government-owned BelTA news agency.
Both journalists were also forced to pay a fine of 735 rubles each.
Last week, criminal charges of illegal access to digital information were cleared against Deutsche Welle reporter Pauliuk Bykouski and realt.by editor Uladzislau Kulteski.
At the same time, tut.by editor-in-chief Maryna Zolatava faced an additional charge of “administrative negligence” and is facing up to 5 years in prison.
The criminal investigation into unauthorized access to BelTA’s computer systems was opened after police searched the offices of several independent media outlets on August 7. Eighteen journalists were arrested. Some of them were detained for 72 hours.
UPD: On November 27, six more employees of tut.by were cleared of criminal charges. These include editors Halina Ulasik, Hanna Kaltyhina, Hanna Yermachonak and Dzmitry Bobryk.
As a result, the Belta case now involves two persons, Maryna Zolatava, tut.by editor-in-chief, and Iryna Leushyna, chief editor of the BelaPAN news agency.