• Actual
  • Law and the media
  • Helpful
  • Work areas and campaigns
  • Reviews and monitoring
  • Voice recorder, microphone, and 4 dayplanners as evidence. Prosecutor asked for 2 years of prison for Andreyeva and Chultsova

    February 17, the trial of Belsat journalists Daria Chultsova and Katsiaryna Andreyeva is under way. Hearing of arguments and the last statement of the defendants are expected today.

    Daria Chultsova and Katsiaryna Andreyeva

    After the break, the judge announced the deci­sion: since the dam­age to Min­sk­trans was ful­ly reim­bursed, and the com­pa­ny has no claims, the court decid­ed to dis­miss the civ­il case.

    Then the court con­tin­ued to exam­ine the evi­dence in the crim­i­nal case. A large black bag and a box were brought into the court­room, and State Pros­e­cu­tor Ali­na Kasyanchyk pre­sent­ed their con­tents. Accord­ing to the explana­to­ry note, there were evi­den­tiary items in the bag: mobile phones, com­put­ers, flash dri­ves, a play­er, a voice recorder, four day­plan­ners, paper records, a micro­phone, a pow­er bank, a trans­mit­ter, a tri­pod, a blue Press vest, a video cam­era, and cords of dif­fer­ent col­ors.

    Prosecutor Alina Kasyanchyk

    There were also a piece of white-red-white fab­ric and var­i­ous stick­ers, pros­e­cu­tor Ali­na Kasyanchyk said.

    What happened during the second session, on February 16?

    On the sec­ond day of the tri­al, the police changed their approach to who would be let into the court­room and who would be left behind the doors. Met­al detec­tors were installed at the entrance to the court­room, and police offi­cers in plain clothes con­tin­ued to claim for hours that the court­room was full.

    Dozens of peo­ple, includ­ing jour­nal­ists from var­i­ous media out­lets, wait­ed in the cor­ri­dor and on the stairs of the court for more than three hours. The guys in civ­il clothes con­tin­ued to claim there were no seats in the court­room.

    Accord­ing to Ihar Ilyash, the hus­band of Kat­siary­na Andreye­va (Bakhvala­va), the court­room was about half full. Only lawyers, close fam­i­ly, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of diplo­mat­ic mis­sions and four jour­nal­ists from two state TV chan­nels were allowed to come in.

    At the hear­ing, they watched frag­ments from the video streamed on Novem­ber 15 from an apart­ment in one of the build­ings on the «Square of Changes». The defense insist­ed on view­ing the entire record­ing, but judge Natalia Buhuk decid­ed to view only frag­ments «for pro­ce­dur­al effec­tive­ness.» These 12 frag­ments formed the basis of the accu­sa­tion. All quotes are report­ed­ly only state­ments of facts. There was only one call to the view­ers — «we urge you to be care­ful»

    Also, the court sum­moned Min­sk­trans rep­re­sen­ta­tive Raman Pra­novich, again. Since the fam­i­lies of the jour­nal­ists paid the dam­ages — more than 11,000 BYN, the trans­porta­tion com­pa­ny dropped its civ­il claim against the jour­nal­ists.

    What happened during the first session, on February 9?

    Accord­ing to the inves­ti­ga­tion, on 15 Novem­ber “moti­vat­ed by greed» and «by pri­or agree­ment» with each oth­er and oth­er uniden­ti­fied per­sons, they orga­nized actions that gross­ly vio­late pub­lic order. Name­ly, they voiced infor­ma­tion on the air, includ­ing «from destruc­tive accounts in social net­works», «gave a pos­i­tive assess­ment» of the events tak­ing place and «gath­ered active par­tic­i­pants who gross­ly vio­lat­ed pub­lic order», «in order to gath­er the crowd that could pos­si­bly counter the actions of law enforce­ment offi­cers».

    The crime, the pros­e­cu­tion says, was com­mit­ted with the help of phones, video cam­eras, a tri­pod and Press vests.

    Accord­ing to the inves­ti­ga­tion, the Bel­sat stream led to the shut­down of 19 pub­lic trans­port routes — 13 bus, 4 trol­ley­bus and 4 tram routes. Min­sk­trans esti­mat­ed the dam­age at 11,562.14 BYN. The jour­nal­ists trans­ferred this amount to the com­pa­ny’s account.

    .Daria Chultso­va refused to tes­ti­fy, so writ­ten case mate­ri­als were read out dur­ing the tri­al.

    — I did not call any­one to any­thing, did not orga­nize any­thing, and did not incline any­one to action. There is no evi­dence of ille­gal actions in the case mate­ri­als, no expla­na­tion of what destruc­tive Telegram chan­nels are, and who deter­mined that they are destruc­tive and which exact­ly chan­nels are meant.  I did­n’t shout any slo­gans, I did­n’t go out on the road­way. <…> My agree­ment to pay the dam­age to Min­sk­trans does not mean I admit the guilt. Pay­ment of dam­ages con­firms that I am a decent per­son, and gives me an oppor­tu­ni­ty to do this for the ben­e­fit of the com­pa­ny in order to improve the qual­i­ty of ser­vices.

    Katsiaryna Andreyeva (Bakhvalava) considers her case «politically motivated».

    — I am absolute­ly inno­cent of the crime that I am accused of, — Kat­siary­na stat­ed in the begin­ning. — I con­sid­er it an act of revenge by the spe­cial ser­vices for my pro­fes­sion­al activ­i­ties.

    Kat­siary­na says, she did not guide peo­ple dur­ing her livestream. She said she could not pos­si­bly do it as there was no mobile Inter­net in the «Square of Changes», so the peo­ple there could not watch Bel­sat stream.

    Katsiaryna Andreyeva (Bakhvalava) 

    The most important news and materials in our Telegram channel — subscribe!
    Most read
    Every day send to your mailbox: actual offers (grants, vacancies, competitions, scholarships), announcements of events (lectures, performances, presentations, press conferences) and good content.


    * indicates required

    By subscribing to the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy