Case materials were read out during the proceedings.
It became known that the criminal case against Ales Bialiatski was launched after the KGB sent an anonymous letter to the Prosecutor General’s Office stating that the head of the Human Rights Center Viasna had accounts in Lithuania and was using funds from these accounts for “unlawful purposes.” Bialiatski’s lawyer noted that in accordance with the Belarusian Criminal Code, anonymous letters cannot be cause for initiating a criminal case. Therefore, this letter is not admissible as evidence and there is no point in introducing it.
“I continue to maintain that this case was launched and conducted with the political subtext of persecuting me and Viasna members for human rights activities,” Bialiatski stated to the judge.
The Public Prosecutor read out the private correspondence of Vladimir Labkovich with his colleagues about the organization of Bialiatski’s defense, the collection of signatures in his support, and other details. The Public Prosecutor saw this material, which was obtained as part of the investigation, as evidence that actions were taken to cover up Bialiatski’s criminal activities. As reported by Radio Svaboda, the Public Prosecutor concluded that a campaign was organized to conceal the purposes of the money transfer to Bialiatski’s account and added this correspondence to the criminal case.
Bialiatski’s lawyer pointed out that the case files do not include any authorizations from Minsk Deputy Public Prosecutor Kizhun for conducting the investigative activities that led to the discovery of 27,000 files. The source of these files is a “DVD disk” received as a result of investigative action. However, the DVD wasn’t attached to the case, as a result of which the defense had no opportunity to study its content.
The judge asked Bialiatski whether he recognized the charges. Bialiatski says he doesn’t.
Bialiatski’s lawyer also reads the text of his solicitation where it is stated that the guilty of his client is not proven. To his mind, even the documents which were received from the Lithuanian and the Polish banks witness that financial means from Bialiatski’s account were used for the needs of “Viasna”, not for his personal ones.He also points at the presence of non-translated and improperly composed documents among the case materials. Some of them don’t correspond to the Criminal Process Code. The defense continues pointing at irregularities and violations in the case materials. In particular, the documents that were received by the investigation from Poland are not sealed or signed by any bank officers. “Such documents cannot be taken into consideration. They are not evidence,” said the lawyer, according to European Radio for Belarus.