A criminal case has been initiated against the journalist. He is accused under criminal article «libel against the president”.
A ground for the accusation was articles on the websites charter97.org and Belorusski Partizan, where the journalist supposed Lukashenka influenced the outcome of the outcome of a criminal case over the Minsk metro bombing that resulted death sentence to Uladzislau Kavalyou and Dzmitry Kanavalau.
Poczobut was arrested in his flat. According to preliminary information, the case is being conducted by investigator Arseny Nikolski.
The journalist’s home was searched. His computers were seized. Poczobut was guarded for a questioning. After he refused to answer questions he was taken to jail in Hrodna.
Andrzej Poczobut is a Belarusian correspondent for Polish Gazeta Wyborcza. On July 5, 2011, the Leninski district court of Hrodna found the journalist guilty of violating part 1 of article 367 of the Criminal Code (libel against the president) and gave him a 3-year suspended sentence.
The journalist wasn’t given a real prison term (though he spent three months in a pre-trial detention facility) only due to pressure from the West, in particular Poland.
Journalist’s wife Aksana Poczobut told Belsat TV he may face up to 4 years in prison.
Lawyer Alyaksandr Birylau will defend Poczobut.
Full text and a video:
Andrzej Poczobut arrested for articles on charter97.org (Video) – Charter’97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk.