On February 13, 2012 the Minsk City Court upheld the verdict issued to the to the deputy-head of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” Valiantsin Stefanovich by the Partyzanski District Court of Minsk.
According to the Partyzanski District Court, on December 16, 2011 Mr. Stefanovich was found guilty of tax evasion and sentenced to pay 54,357,370 rubles as the tax for allegedly concealed income, and 2,717,870 rubles as the court fee.
The panel of judges of the Minsk City Court considered the appeal and decided to leave the verdict of the court of the first instance in force.
Human rights defender Valiantsin Stefanovich is convinced that his case is a continuation of the persecution of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, including the imprisonment of ales Bialiatski for human rights activities and support to political prisoners, monitoring of elections and the campaign against the death penalty. He also reminded about the evident traits left by KGB in the materials of criminal case against Ales Bialiatski.
Somewhat earlier, on December 24, 2012, the Minsk City Court considered the appeal against the verdict to the head of the HRC “Viasna” Ales Bialiatski (sentenced to 4.5 years in high-security prison with confiscation of property) and left the verdict unchanged.
The essence of the charges to Ales Bialiatski is alleged concealment of his personal income, received in 2007-2010 to his bank accounts in Lithuania and Poland, which resulted in the non-payment of 352,274,360 rubles of income tax.
Valiantsin Stefanovich assures that the Human Rights Center “Viasna” is not going to stop its activities.