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TUT.BY Chief Editor Marina Zolotava To Stand Trial In BelTA Case

The trial of TUT.BY editor-in-chief Marina Zolotava in BelTA case will start on 12 February in Minsk.

For the first time in the history of modern Belarus, the chief editor will be tried on charges of offenses related to the professional activities.

TUT.BY Chief Editor Marina Zolotava

While the court of Zavodskoy district will consider the case, the hearing is likely to take place in a spacious courthouse of Moskovskiy district. Marina Zolotava remains the only accused person in the so-called BelTA case.

TUT.BY chief editor is charged under Part 2 of Article 425 of the Criminal Code (inaction of an official – note BelarusFeed). The penalty under this article ranges from a fine to five years in prison.

Read also: Belarus internet users have to authorize with phone numbers to comment online

Earlier, Zolotova along with her colleagues was suspected of unauthorized access to data of the state-owned BelTA news agency. The prosecution under this article was stopped ‘in view of the non-existence of a crime’.

The court repeatedly denied Zolotova’s appeal to terminate the criminal prosecution.

The criminal charges of other journalists and reporters were replaced with administrative liability. In addition to fines, journalists paid damages (from 3,000 to 17,000 BYN).

Read also: Belarus’s democracy score drops in 2018 Freedom House Ranking

Recall that this August police searches took place in the office of TUT.BY and other non-state media sources, 15 journalists and reporters were detained. International organizations, human rights activists, and foreign media condemned the detentions.

The European Union (EU), as well as diplomatscalled on the official Minsk to free journalists, stressing that such actions are in contradiction with Belarus’ international commitments.

BelarusFeed is a project of TUT.BY.

Source: TUT.BY