Polish judge Dariusz Łubowski has been subject to criminal proceedings by the prosecutor general of Belarus. A Warsaw judge ruled that the extradition of the opposition blogger Sciapan Puciła was inadmissible. The Belarusian office informed that the judge’s actions were classified as “inciting national and social hatred”.
On January 26, the District Court in Warsaw ruled that the extradition of the founder of the Nexta Sciapana Puciła channel, which was demanded by the Belarusian authorities, was legally inadmissible. You cannot surrender someone to the judicial authorities if this justice system does not exist at all – judge Dariusz Łubowski justified.
The Belarusian prosecutor’s office “established” that Dariusz Łubowski was a judge during the trial for the extradition of Puciła. In the announcement, the prosecutor’s office claims that the judge “during the trial publicly disseminated unreliable information aimed at inciting national and social hatred, and insulted and slandered representatives of the highest Belarusian authorities”.
According to the Belarusian office, this shows “a lack of professionalism, ignoring the basic principles of the judiciary and international obligations”, as well as “bias in the process, its fabrication, politicization and commissioned”. The announcement of the judgment was assessed as “theatrical”. The case was referred to the Investigative Committee, which is to conduct a preliminary investigation.
The Polish court did not consent to the extradition of the oppositionist
The opposition blogger and activist, who has been living in Poland for several years, is accused in Belarus of a number of crimes and “terrorist” activities, because during the protests against the rigging of the presidential elections in 2020, he actively reported on events in the country and encouraged citizens to be active. Belarusian authorities argue that Pułua’s popular Telegram Nexta channel “coordinated the protests”, which, according to repeated official narratives, were an attempted coup, financed from abroad. Poland granted Pucile international protection and asylum.
The application for the extradition of Puciła was received by the prosecutor’s office in November 2020. He was accused on the basis of more than 10 articles of the Belarusian Penal Code, including for the organization of a conspiracy to seize power, incitement to hatred, and the organization of mass riots.
The Polish prosecutor’s office asked the court to declare that Puciła’s extradition to Belarus was legally inadmissible. The Warsaw District Court acceded to her position. As emphasized during the trial, the motion to surrender the defendant does not deserve “obviously” admission.
The court noted that “from the point of view of all EU countries, Belarus does not currently have legal authorities”. “This country demands the surrender of a completely innocent citizen just because he has different views than a dictator – a dictator who is not recognized by any civilized state” – the court assessed.
– It is a well-known fact that violations of human rights in Belarus are not frequent or widespread – they are total and systemic in nature. The whole of society is persecuted and intimidated. Society is divided into two groups – the part that collaborates with the regime and the rest that is persecuted. And this persecution is extremely inhuman and cruel – said judge Łubowski.
According to human rights defenders, there are currently 1,022 political prisoners in Belarus. This is the highest number in the history of a country ruled by Alyaksandr Lukashenka since 1994.
Main photo source: Rafał Guz / PAP