Authorities may disbar lawyer Zikratski who defends Belarusians tried on political grounds

АSyarhei Zikratski during trial of Belsat TV journos Katsyaryna Andreyeva and Darya Chultsova. Minsk, 9 February 2021. Photo: ТК / Белсат

Defence lawyer Syarhei Zikratski has been called in for re-certification which is to take place on March 24, TUT.BY reports.

Zikratski is one of the best Belarusian lawyers; he specialises in copyright law, corporate law, intellectual property rights. Lately, he has also appeared for the defence in politically motivated cases, including those of media workers. It was Zikratski who defended imprisoned Belsat TV journalist Katsyaryna Andreyeva in February and popular Belarusian news portal TUT.BY in January. Syarhei is also a lawyer of Press Club Belarus employees whom the authorities accuse of tax evasion.

Lawyers appeal against sentence passed on Belsat journos Andreyeva, Chultsova

“Some comments I gave for mass media have become the reason for calling me in for re-certification. According to the Justice Ministry, those comments did not fully comply with the law, which they say are indicative of improperly performing my professional duties. In light of this, the ministry is initiating an extraordinary re-certification to consider the option of my further performance of professional duties, ” Zikratski told TUT.BY.

The latest extraordinary re-certification was held on March 4. Then the Justice Ministry reported that only one of seven lawyers successfully completed it.

Over the past months, political prisoner Maryia Kalesnikavas defence lawyers Alyaksandr Pylchanka and Lyudmila Kazak have been stripped of their barrister’s licenses. In addition, the Belarusian authorities have revoked the licenses of Kanstantsin Mikhel, Mikhail Kirilyuk, Maksim Konan, Uladzimir Sazanchuk (the latter defends politician Mikalai Statkevich, blogger Zmitser Kazlou and was one of Katsyaryna Andreeva’s lawyers).

Four Belarusian lawyers stand to lose licenses