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Top 10 Judges Who Passed Longest Sentences In Administrative Cases

Sometimes the relatives of the detainees in Belarus hope for a more or less successful outcome of the case: that judge will impose a fine, not an arrest, but a fine. It depends, as some believe, on the judge. Some of them have a reputation for being more loyal to the protesters, some have already gained the reputation of being particularly ruthless. TUT.BY analyzed the data of the “Civil Control of the Judicial System” project by the ZUBR platform and compiled the list of the top 10 judges who imprisoned the detainees for the longest period of time.

Photo: Reuters

What is the ZUBR platform and can you trust it?

The ZUBR platform was created for observers and voters in Belarus. The team itself defines its goal as follows: to record, process and display all information about the election process in Belarus in real-time. For example, Chestnye Luydi [the Honest People – Ed.] community is in partnership with the platform.

In November 2020, the ZUBR team created the project “Civil Control of the Judicial System”. It exists with the expert support of the human rights organization Human Constanta.

The main developer and one of the founders of the project, Pavel Potapov, explained that the data on the decisions of the judges comes from three sources: “This is the deregistered human rights centre Viasna, project 23.34 (“Public investigation of police violations related to peaceful rallies.” – Ed.) and what is sent to us via our chatbot in the telegram (@zubr_watch_bot ).”

All data, according to the developer, is quite accurate as it is being verified.

“The Vesna human right centre volunteers do that, at 23.34 [this function is performed] by a detailed form for filling out, photos of resolutions are sent to our bot. We hide personal data before publishing,” explains Pavel Potapov.

According to project statistics, in 2020 the detainees were sentenced to 67,976 days of administrative arrest, in 2021 – 9,577, and in total – 77,553 (almost 212 and a half years). This is the data as of March 26, 2021, and only for administrative cases.

There are judges who have contributed more than others. The ZUBR platform itself gives the top 10 based on the number of decisions made. TUT.BY compiled its top 10, highlighting those who distinguished themselves precisely by the number of days of administrative arrest, based on the same information.

According to the Investigative Committee, since the summer of 2020, more than two thousand criminal cases related to protests have been initiated in Belarus. More than 400 people have already been convicted. The project “Civil control of the judicial system” has not yet systematized data on criminal cases. The judges who have the mark “Criminal cases” are only marked as those who work on them. Therefore – we repeat – only administrative penalties are taken into account in the statistics.

Below are the names of those, according to the platform, who imprisoned the detainees for the longest period of time.

1.Maxim Trusevich

Court: Pervomaisky district of Minsk
Total number of sentences: 345
Days of arrest in total: 3,260 (slightly more than 8,9 years)

Judge Maksim Trusevich is known not only for administrative sentences. It was he who sentenced 22-year-old Yevgeny Kalinovsky to four years in prison under Part 1 of Art. 342 and Art. 364 of the Criminal Code (“Organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them” and “Violence or threat of violence against an employee of the internal affairs bodies”).

Recall that this young man, a prize-winner of the Olympiads and a scholarship holder of the Youth Support Fund, was accused of participating in a rally on the day when Viktor Babariko and Valery Tsepkalo were denied registration as presidential candidates, as well as in a clash with riot police officers. Kalinovski pleaded not guilty: he said that he was trying to suppress illegal actions towards citizens by the police, who were later recognized as victims by the investigation.

Marina Fedorova

Court: Sovetsky district of Minsk
Total number of sentences: 270
Days of arrest in total: 2,525 (slightly more than 6.9 years)

Marina Fedorova passed sentences in 2017 too, then Minsk residents also took to the streets after Freedom Day. And in 2020, the judge took part in hearings of those who gathered at the symbal.by store even before the elections. The judge also considers criminal cases. Marina Fedorova found guilty 18-year-old activist of the anarchist movement Ivan Krasovsky under Part 1 of Art. 342 (Organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them). He was sentenced to three years of restriction of freedom and sent to an open-type correctional institution. At the hearing, it turned out that the man’s phone had been tapped since March 3, 2020, and this data became the basis of the accusation.

3. Victoria Shabunya

Court: Tsentralny district of Minsk
Total number of sentences: 369
Days of arrest in total: 1,614 (slightly more than 4.4 years)

Victoria Shabunya, in addition to administrative cases, considered the case of Yegor Sugoydya. The man, according to the state prosecutor, went out onto the roadway and jumped onto the MAZ. His actions allegedly led to a violation of public order, as well as obstructed the movement of public transport. Sugoydya’s actions were qualified by the investigation under Part 1 of Art. 342 of the Criminal Code of Belarus (Organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them). The accused partially admitted his guilt: he was at the rally, but he does not agree with the fact that he jumped on the MAZ. The judge sent the man to a general regime correctional colony for two years.

Earlier, Shabunya fined the correspondents of the Belsat TV channel for working without accreditation. Among them were Katerina Andreeva [real name – Bakhvalova – Ed.], who is now serving two years in a general regime colony together with her colleague Daria Chultsova.

4.Sergey Shatilo

Court: Sovetsky district of Minsk
Total number of sentences: 185
Days of arrest in total: 1,593 (almost 4.4 years)

Sergei Shatilo was a judge in the case that became special because of the extremely scarce information about it. The relatives of the accused Alexei Berezinsky were against the disclosure of details and the presence of volunteers at the trial. Shatilo found Berezinsky guilty having been found guilty under Part 2 of Art. 293 (Participation in riots) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus and sent the man to a maximum-security colony for 3.5 years.

In addition, it was Sergei Shatilo who sentenced a Belarusian with Swiss citizenship Natalya Hershe to 2 years and 6 months in a general regime colony. She tried to remove a balaclava from a riot policeman during her detention after a women’s march. Hershe was found guilty under Part 2 of Art. 363 of the Criminal Code (Resistance to an employee of the internal affairs bodies or other person protecting public order).

In 2019, this judge also fined Belarusian economist, analyst, journalist Sergei Chaly 10 basic units for participating in the Chernobyl Way.

5. Elena Zhukovich

Court: Sovetsky district of Minsk
Total number of sentences: 185
Days of arrest in total: 1576

In high-profile criminal cases, Elena Zhukovich, judging by open sources, did not participate. But it was she who judged the artist Nadezhda Sayapina, the author of the performance “Heritage” about the paintings from the Belgazprombank collection. The judge decided to send the woman behind the bars for 15 days.

6. Dmitry Karsyuk

Court: Tsentralny district of Minsk
Total number of sentences: 154
Days of arrest in total: 1,538 (slightly over 4.2 years)

Karsyuk was one of those who took part in sentencing Olga Khizhinkova to 42 days of arrest. He also sent a man to a detention centre for 15 days for honking on the morning of February 11, 2021, and then received a protocol for disobedience due to the fact that he allegedly refused to go to the police department.

Karsyuk sentenced the residents of the Lebyazhy residential complex from 25 to 30 days of arrest under the new Code of Administrative Offenses for being in the evening of 10 March in the Lebyazhy microdistrict of Minsk on the site between houses No. 125 and 127 on Pobediteley Avenue. One of those sent to serve his arrest is a bank manager. Among those detained, by the way, were mothers with many children, who were tried by Victoria Shabunya.

7. Tatiana Motyl

Court: Moskovsky district of Minsk
Total number of sentences: 240
Days of arrest in total: 1,516 (more than 4.1 years)

Tatyana Motyl tried those detained at the rallies on 9 and 10 August, and also sent healthcare workers detained on the evening of 2 November during a rally of solidarity with expelled students of the medical university. The judge has long passed decisions on politically motivated cases. She punished the participants of Ploshcha-2010, marches against the decree on parasites in 2017, rallies against integration with Russia in December 2019. For this, she was included in the EU sanctions list of both 2011 and 2017 years.

8. Anastasia Leikovskaya

Court: Pervomaisky district of Minsk
Total number of sentences: 209
Days of arrest in total: 1,358 (slightly more than 3.7 years)

It is not known whether Leikovskaya was a judge in any criminal cases related to the protests. However, she sent Nasha Niva‘s photographer Alexandra Pilipovich-Sushchits to a detention centre for a week and activist Dmitry Polienko for 15 days. Polienko was tried even before the elections, in early July 2020. He came to court with a poster “We are 97%.”

9.Tatiana Shotik

Court: Leninsky district of Minsk
Total number of sentences: 163
Days of arrest in total: 1,313 (almost 3.6 years)

The verdict on 29-year-old Alexander Nurdinov, a participant in the protests on 9 and 10 August, was also handed down by Tatiana Shotik. His crime was that he went out onto the roadway, “tore off vegetation from flower beds and threw it at the police officers,” this was qualified as part 1 of Art. 342 (Active participation in group actions that grossly violate public order and are associated with obvious disobedience to the legal requirements of the authorities, which entailed disruption of transport) and Part 2 of Art. 293 (Participation in mass disorders) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus. The man did not agree with this. Nevertheless, Nurdinov will spend four years in a high-security colony.

Tatiana Shotik also tried TUT.BY journalist Nadezhda Kalinina and fined her 2,320 rubles. Our colleague’s fault is that on January 29 she tried to get to the congress of delegates of the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly in Minsk. Shotik punished Kalinin with 80 basic units: 1,450 rubles at 23.34 and 870 rubles under Article 23.4 of the old Administrative Code.

10. Maria Erokhina

Court: Frunzensky district of Minsk
Total number of sentences: 160
Days of arrest in total: 1,296 (slightly more than 3.5 years)

The judge has no history of passing judgments in any high-profile political trials in 2020 and 2021. According to the deregistered human rights centre Viasna, Erokhina two years ago fined anarchists 50 “base units” for leaflets, and four years ago – activist Maksim Vinyarsky for participating in a march against the “parasite decree.”

Data on the number of sentences and days of administrative arrest was taken from the ZUBR platform as of the evening of March 26, 2021.

 

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