Hrodna court: Belsat TV journalist’s appeal rejected

Viktar Kavalchuk, a judge at Hrodna regional court, has dismissed Ales Zaleuski’s cassational petition and affirmed the verdict delivered earlier.

Mr Zaleuski is an employee of the Polish Public Television (TVP S.A), Belsat TV being its structural unit. The author and presenter of programs ‘Human Affairs’ and ‘Zaleuski’s Report’ was charged with of illegal collection and distribution of information. On May, 27 Korelichy district court found Mr Zaleuski guilty and imposed fine on him. The journalist made an attempt to appeal against the judgement, but met with failure. According to the judge, the journalist’s guilt ‘is proven’.

It is not the first time when independent journalists have been sued in Hrodna region. For example, after Hrodna-based journalist Aliaksandr Dzianisau had filmed an interview with theatre director Aleh Zhugzhda who revealed details of his staging play ‘Faust. Dreams’ and the footage had appeared on Belsat TV Mr Dzianisau was Blr 4.5 mln fined (appr. 450$).

It is to be recalled that in March, 2013 Belsat TV made its third attempt to get a formal accreditation and filed all the necessary documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But in vain: the Ministry’s officers refused to register its correspondent office in Minsk referring to Belsat contributors’ alleged law violations. As our journalists and contributors have to perform their professional duties without any accreditation they repeatedly draw fire from public officers.

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