An administrative case has been initiated against Uladzimir Yanukevich, editor-in-chief of the Belarusian newspaper Intex Press and director of the publishing house of the same name.
It is not ruled out that Mr Yanukevich will face a criminal charge as well, the Belarusian Association of journalists (BAJ) reports.
The Belarusian authorities considered Intex Press’ publishing an interview with Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s election opponent Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya in the fact and on the website a reasonable ground for launching administrative proceedings. In the wake of the publication, Uladzimir Yanukevich received a warning from the local prosecutor’s office.
On April 21, officers of Baranavichy city police department interrogated Uladzimir Yanukevich for four and a half hours. Two protocolss were drawn upon him for allegedly violating the law on mass media under Part 4 (‘distributing prohibited information”) and Part 5 ( ‘distributing information by unregistered resources’) of the Article 23.5 of the Code of Administrative Offences.
For the time being, the probe is underway; depending on its outcome, the authorities might open a criminal case under Art. 361 of the Criminal Code (‘calls for actions aimed at harming the national security of the Republic of Belarus’).
Lyudmila Stsyatsko, the author of the article, has been summoned as a witness, she is to show up at the police department on April 23. Notably, the reason for her being calling in was not mentioned in the subpoena.