24 July 2019, Wednesday, 2:23
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Mahiliou Journalist Seeks Punishment For Official And Policeman

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ULADZIMIR LAPTSEVICH
PHOTO: MSPRING.ONLINE

Uladzimir Laptsevich is determined.

Journalist Vladimir Laptsevich has been trying to bring to justice an official of Leninski district administration, Kanstantsin Kistsianiou, and police officer Siarhei Kalesnikau since 2017. According to him, they exceeded their authority and abused the power when they did not let him, as a BelaPAN correspondent, to the meeting of the garage cooperative "Sputnik-2008" in April 2017, mspring.online reported.

Despite the fact that he was invited to the meeting in the building of Leninski district administration by the cooperative's management, Kistsianiou banned the journalist from entering the hall. After that, the official invited Siarhei Kalesnikau, an employee of the Leninski district police department, who took Laptsevich out of the building by force.

The ex-correspondent of BelaPAN started to appeal against the actions of the official and the policeman, as well as to press charges against them for abuse of authority and power.

The Investigative Committee repeatedly stopped the check-up, and then started it again:

"I counted about fifteen times when the decision of the investigators of Mahiliou inter-district Investigative Committee was cancelled either by the court or by the head of the Investigative Committee. Since February last year, until this day, I couldn't even appeal to the court against the decision to refuse to initiate a criminal case - the Investigative Committee itself simply refused and canceled the refusal," - Laptsevich said.

On 21 June this year, senior investigator Rybakou made another decision to refuse to initiate criminal proceedings. The IC leadership decided not to oppose the decision.

Uladzimir Laptsevich appealed to the Leninski district court, where he demanded to cancel Rybakou's decision and send materials on bringing Kistsianiou and Kalesnikau to criminal responsibility for a new consideration.

At the session on July 11th, the journalist said that for the two years of check-up, Siarhei Kalesnikau, an employee of Leninski District Department of Internal Affairs, had repeatedly changed his testimony during the interrogations:

"At first, he said that I hadn't shown my certificate. Then he said that he hadn't paid attention to whether I had shown it. And according to the latest case file, he again says that I did not show anything. The constant confusion in the testimony suggests that the offender is just trying to avoid responsibility," - Laptsevich stated.

In addition, he complained that the Investigative Committee, instead of dealing with the case, initiates inquiries to various authorities, thus "imitating a teeming activity":

"Thousand thoughtless requests have been made by the IC. They are already wondering whether the author's contract is a confirmation of my employment relationship with the BelaPAN information company. Although I was paid fees under the author's contract, tax deductions to the budget of the Republic of Belarus were made from this money. We got to the point where the IC asked the BSU law faculty for a consultation in order to explain what the author's contract is. What kind of competence is that? - Laptsevich addressed the court.

Prosecutor Dzmitry Kuzniatsou said in response that the policeman Siarhei Kalesnikau had been protecting public order. He also said that all the requests made by the Investigative Committee were a necessity.

However, he noted that the rules of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Belarus had been violated by senior investigator Rybakou when making a decision not to initiate a criminal case - he hadn' t made reference to the part of the necessary article of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus.

Kuzniatsou asked to cancel the decision and send it for a new consideration. In addition, he noted that investigators had to summon a representative of BelaPAN, who could tell about Laptsevich's labor relations with them.

Judge Alena Litvina took the prosecutor's position and overturned the decision of the Investigative Committee on formal grounds, sending the materials of the inspection for a new review.