Second hearing of Jolan Viaud case in Belarus

Jolan Viaud journalist was present at the second hearing of the Jolan Viaud case in the regional court of Homiel region will On Friday 17, 2017.

The 24-year-old Frenchman was detained on September 21 at a border checkpoint Novaya Huta. He was traveling to Ukraine. He was returned to Homiel and placed in a detention facility #3.

At the second hearing the border guard said the Frenchman had passed passport control and when asked if he had on him any prohibited items he took out the cartridge and asked if it was illegal.

Judge Tamara Zastaunetskaya read out an expert opinion:

“The cartridge is an ammunition item used for firing a 9-millimeter gun, made by the factory method.”

The video shown in the courtroom showed a customs officer stopping Jolan and asking him in English where he was going and whether he had something forbidden on him. Viaud asked if the bullet was a prohibited item and started to explain that it was a souvenir. The border guard asked if Jolan had only one bullet on him, to which the latter responded in the positive. Next, the customs officer left to look for his supervisor.

Prosecutor asked, due to exceptional circumstances (Jolan gave up the cartridge voluntarily, repented, had a good background), to give the Frenchman a more lenient sentence. He proposed to apply Part 2 of Article 295 and fine the Frenchman 200 basic units, as well as find him guilty under Article 333 and fine him 200 more basic units. In total, the proposed fine should be 300 basic units, and Jolan was to be freed on bail.

The counsel disagreed with the articles mentioned by the prosecutor, because he is convinced that there was no component of the crime, there was insufficient evidence and the lack of knowledge about the ban to carry the cartridge was not disproved.

The hearing will continue on Monday, 20 November.

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