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A process behind closed doors. The court in Grodno will announce the verdict in the political trial of Andrzej Poczobut

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The verdict in the case of Andrzej Poczobut is to be announced on Wednesday in the district court in Grodno. The political trial of the activist and journalist began on January 16. Closing speeches for the prosecution and defense took place on Tuesday.

A political trial against an activist of the Polish minority Andrzej Poczobut began on January 16 and is pending before the district court in Grodno, where the verdict is to be announced. Most of the hearings were held in the courtroom of the Oktyabrska district.

The trial was kept secret, which means that neither relatives nor the media can participate in it. Attorneys cannot provide information about the progress of the proceedings.

The verdict is expected to be announced on Wednesday around noon Polish time.

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Poczobut at the end of August wrote in a letter from prisonthat he is awaiting a court verdict and being sent to a gulag. “Thank you for remembering and not being indifferent to my fate. Of course, it’s very nice to know that you haven’t been forgotten, even though captivity lasts 17 months. Everything is stable with me. Prison, cell, bars – everything is already familiar and familiar” – described.

Detention of Andrzej Poczobut

Andrzej Poczobut is a member of the board of the Union of Poles banned by the Belarusian authorities Belarus and a famous journalist. He was detained by the Belarusian regime in March 2021. At the same time, other activists of the Polish minority, including the head of the ZPB, were detained Andżelika Borys. She was released from prison. Three activists from regional branches of ZPB were also released from custody. They were forced to leave Belarus.

The journalist has been in Belarusian detention since March 25, 2021. He is accused under two articles of the Belarusian Criminal Code of allegedly “inciting hatred” and calling for sanctions and actions to the detriment of Belarus. He is punishable by up to 12 years in prison.

Andrzej Poczobut is in Belarusian detention Leonid SHCHEGLOV / BELTA / AFP

In the political process of Poczobut, according to the center human rights Wiasna (outlawed by the authorities), is accused, among other things, of the articles he published in the media.

Since October, the activist of the Polish minority has been detained in the Hrodna detention center at prison No. 1. Previously, Poczobut was held in detention centers in Zhodzin and Minsk.

>> Cichanouska: the Poczobut case is a means of pressure for the Lukashenko regime on Poland

After starting the process Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs once again appealed for Poczobut’s release and reiterated that he was innocent and that the proceedings against him were politically motivated.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is disappointed to hear about the start of the trial of Andrzej Poczobut before a Belarusian court on January 16 this year. Andrzej Poczobut has been in custody since March 2021, and the allegations against him are untrue and politically motivated,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote in a statement. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs assures that the Polish authorities are constantly taking actions, including non-public ones, to release the activist of the Polish minority.

Poczobut was declared a political prisoner.

Main photo source: Leonid SHCHEGLOV / BELTA / AFP

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