TUT.by chief editor's trial: Day 1 Photo
The criminal trial of TUT.BY chief editor Maryna Zolatava started at 10 am on February 12. A court hall holding 170 people was chosen for the hearing.
Maryna Zolatava is charged under clause 2 of article 425 of the Criminal Code (omission of an executive). She faces either a heavy fine or imprisonment for up to 5 years.
Among those present are editors of Narodnaya Volya newspaper and BelaPAN news agency, EU diplomats. Numerous colleagues from TUT.by came to support Maryna Zolatava.
The judge Aliaksandr Petrash prohibited photo and video shooting during the hearing. A BelTA representative asked to hold the hearing in camera to restrict the information that is protected by law. Judge Petrash dismissed the motion.
Maryna Zolatava is charged with the fact that she "by virtue of official duties should have and could have prevented" but "allowed the commission of the crime," that is, unauthorized access of her employees to a BelTA paid subscription, given that portal TUT.by did not conclude a contract for paid subscription, which constitutes omission of an executive. 115 unauthorized access session were recorded.
Zolatava pleaded not guilty and chose to testify after hearing of witnesses.
Aliaksandr Halinouski, a BelTA representative, stated that previously, 20 users could log in simultaneously using the same password, but then the threshold was lowered to 10 users. Unauthorized users were disclosed after the complaints of the newspapers Respublika and Zviazda, who reported the inability to access the subscription with their login details. The system has been improved since then - each user has a personal password. When asked by the judge what were the consequences of unauthorized access, the witness said that there was an extra load on the servers.
BelTA employee Iryna Harbacheuskaja said that the instructions username and password use were explained at the time of contracting. No liability for unauthorized use of passwords was provided. No one signed any documents that proved the receiving of instructions.
Material damage caused by unauthorized access to the paid subscription was calculated based on the price list on a monthly basis. Even though the damage to the organization was fully compensated, the BelTA CEO insisted on prosecuting Zolatava.
Written case materials were ushered. The next court session is scheduled for February 13.