Critical blogger awarded heavy fine in police defamation trial
Blogger Siarhei Piatrukhin has been found guilty of slander and insult in a trial that was completed today in Brest.
Judge Aliaksandr Semianchuk sentenced Piatrukhin to a fine totaling to 9,180 rubles, or 4,380 USD. The defendant was also ordered to pay 3,700 USD in moral damages to four local police officers who were allegedly targeted in his YouTube videos.
Earlier, the prosecutor asked to send the blogger to a penal labor facility.
Piatrukhin has one month to pay the fine and the moral compensation. Until then, his assets will remain frozen.
The blogger says he does not consider himself guilty and is going to file an appeal.
“This verdict shows that they can do anything, it’s the police who’s in charge here. This is an attack on freedom of speech. Of course, for me it is a huge fine, given the short period to pay it. I have no such money,” Piatrukhin said.