The criminal prosecution of BelaPAN Chief Editor Iryna Leushyna in the so-called “BelTA case” has been stopped. TUT.by editor-in-chief Maryna Zolatava remains the only accused person in the case.
As BelaPAN reports, on November 29 her petition for termination of the criminal prosecution under Article 86 of the Criminal Code (exemption from criminal liability with drawing a person to administrative responsibility) was granted. Leushyna paid an administrative fine of 30 basic units (735 BYN).
Now she is a witness in the “BelTA case”. Her written undertaking not to leave the country was canceled. In addition, Leushyna was given back her hard drives, confiscated during the searches in August.
Thus, Maryna Zolatava remains the only person involved in the “BelTA case”. She was charged under Part 2 of Article 425 of the Criminal Code (“inaction of an official”). The maximum penalty for this article is 5 years in prison.
On August 7-9, the offices of Tut.by and BelaPAN were searched and a dozen journalists were detained. They spent several days in the temporary detention center in the Akrestsina street.
On August 27, the majority of the suspects were banned from leaving the country.
The Investigative Committee suspects them of unauthorized access to BelTA’s computer information. Independent analysts are convinced that the case is an attempt by the authorities to intimidate and take control of the main non-state media, and even call the “BelTA case” the Tut.by case.