Belarus fines Polish journalist

Andzrej Poczobut, Polish correspondent in Belarus, was fined 660 zloty (148 euro) for reporting on the meeting of the Union of Poles in Belarus over the weekend after Belarusian authorities took away his press accreditation at the end of February.

The court in Grudno also cites him for taking part in an illegal demonstration surrounding the meeting.

"That is a pretty light sentence," stated Poczobut after the trial ended.

According to Poczobut, his sentencing was a direct result of the version of events relayed by the militia that closed down the demonstration.

"The basic testimony of the militia functionary was that I actively took part in the rally and the rally was illegal," stated Puczobut. He added that the reason that he received such a light sentence was because Polish media and various international media outlets took interest in the case.

The two-day hearing started yesterday and no media were allowed in the courtroom.

Igor Bancer and Mieczyslaw Jaskiewisc were also arrested for taking part in the demonstration. The two have not yet been sentenced.



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