How Marina Dubina was tried?
Description of the arrest procedure (news from media tut.by)
06/10/2020 in Minsk, on Kuibysheva Street, Marina Dubina, activist and director of the public association “Ecodom” (Marina Dubina, director of «Ecodom”, a friendly organization of RADA, eco-activist and human rights defender, was detained by unknown persons, was detained.
One of the witnesses of the detention told TUT.BY that at 15.50 he was standing on the porch near the “Corps № 6” in Kuibyshev, 22. At one point, he heard Marina screaming from the entrance building, saw a man in plain clothes and a mask pulling her to the car, and the girl asked for help. Later, another person got involved in the detention. Passers-by ran up to the men and started asking for documents.
“They answered that they were from the police. Only pepper spray showed up at the request to show their documents. They must have sprayed at me three times. Everyone ran to the side and Marina was put into the car and taken away.” (с.) According to the witness.
Chronicle of the Trial 07/10/2020
Central District Court of Minsk
Judge Victoria Shabunya (Виктория Шабуня)
Chief Secretary Julia Litvinko
Lawyer Tatiana Lishankova
Marina Dubina participates in the court session through Skype connection, is in the temporary detention center on Okrestina (prison).
The judge asks everyone to take seats at a distance from each other, those without a mask are asked to leave the hall (despite the fact that no quarantine measures have been officially introduced in Belarus – Ed.). Also asks the Department of Internal Affairs to adjust the sound for video communication. As a result, the sound is bad in the courtroom.
Judge: Marina, do you hear well?
Marina Dubina: Yes, but you can turn the camera so that I can see the defender?
The judge rejects the request with the words “when you will communicate with her, you will see her”. The trial under Art. 23.34 part.1 / Code of Administrative Offences.
The judge addresses the participants of the court proceedings: “to address the judge standing up and say ‘High Court’. Photo and video shooting is prohibited.
The judge asks the defendant to introduce herself. The judge asks questions about the date of birth, marital status and “at the moment you are pregnant? Marina answers that no (with surprise from the question – ed.)
In the hall laughter from the questions asked.
Judge: If someone is having fun, then please leave the hall. There will be no more comments.
The judge asks about the place of study or work.
Marina Dubina: I work as a freelancer.
The judge asks if Marina has been held administratively responsible during the year.
Marina Dubina: As far as I know, no.
The court then explains the rights and obligations.
Marina Dubina: Applies for a defense lawyer – the judge accepts the application.
Marina Dubina: motions to postpone the session to the next day due to the impossibility of attracting witnesses. Marina says that she was in Brest at the moment (according to the protocol), that is in another place.
Judge: The decision will be made after examining the evidence that already exists. There are no grounds to move the case because “you are involved in the process personally, as well as with the defense counsel”.
Judge: read out Protocol № 4123 of 06.10.2020, which was drawn up by Major Ivanov (name is confidential by court) on the fact of participation in a mass unauthorized event on Pobediteley Avenue, Marina Dubina was among a group of citizens who were waving flags and shouting “Live Belarus”, “Go away” and “Shame”.
The judge said that Marina was acquainted with the protocol, but with a note about a separate position.
Marina Dubina: I understand what offence I am charged with. I do not recognize the guilt. I do not fully agree with the protocol.
Marina Dubina: for the second time she requests to call witnesses from her side.
Judge: The decision will be made after examining the evidence that already exists.
Judge: further requests to know where Marina was on 23/09/2020.
Marina Dubina: I had surgeries and was discharged from the hospital on September 21/22, after which I left to Brest, where my parents live. 23/10/2020 day I was in Brest city on Gogol street with my mother, then I went to my daddy in “red yard”. At 20:00 I was meeting with my friend.
Judge: How did you get from Minsk to Brest?
Marina Dubina: By car, with her husband. I was discharged from the hospital 22/10/2020 (the names of the hospital were removed – ed.) and we left in the afternoon.
The judge asks for the name of the husband.
Judge: Does the lawyer have questions?
Lawyer: Yes, Marina, can you see and hear me?
Marina Dubina: No, please, come to the screen and speak, please, not quickly as because of bad communication I sometimes do not hear the word.
Lawyer: Marina Alekseevna, what is your mother’s name? Marina answers (names and details have been removed – ed.). Then Marina tells me about the place where she and my mother had lunch.
Then Marina tells about two witnesses of their Brest, who can confirm her words (names are known, details are removed – ed.).
The lawyer asks questions about the place where she met her friends and was called to the RUVD (police department).
Lawyer: Were you detained yesterday?
Marina Dubina: Yes, unknown men in black and masks were dragged into the car and taken to the RUVD, the policeman on duty was told “this is the Dubina on which GUBOP (Directorate General for Organized Crime Control) was working – make out”.
Lawyer: Where is your husband now?
Marina Dubina: administrative arrest, in Okrestina (prison)
Judge: You say you talked to your mother and friends in Brest, what phone number did you use?
Marina Dubina: she calls the number (details deleted – ed.).
The lawyer requests to call her husband as a witness, who was also with Marina in Brest. Now he is also in Okrestina.
Judge: the question of the advisability of calling this witness will be decided at the end of the study of the case file.
Lawyer: applies for the history of calls from the operator “Life”, as well as apply for an interview in person or on Skype witnesses – moms and girlfriends on Skype (names deleted – ed).
Judge: the judge finishes interviewing the person under administrative proceedings.
Lawyer: Objects to the call of a witness, so in this case it is not possible to classify witnesses (the fio of a witness from the police have been changed, the person is not visible);
Judge: Provocations and threats against police officers are possible, so the data have been changed.
Marina Dubina: If they are confident in their actions and have nothing to hide, then why hide? I don’t threaten or provoke anybody. These people wrote the protocol, they need to be listened to.
Judge: to classify witness data from the police. Administrative Code does not contradict. The court itself will establish an identity and check the evidence.
Lawyer: Once again, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the classification of information about witnesses is in no way prescribed by law, I dare to suggest that the High Court is directly or indirectly interested in a certain outcome of this case. He is seeking the recusal of a judge.
Marina Dubina: I fully support and also want to note that the court should be based on the principle of presumption of innocence. At the moment the court does not adhere to the principle of independence and impartiality.
The court withdrew to decide on the recusal of the judge and the question of the legality of the classification of witness names by the police.
Judge: read out the rules of legislation on the disqualification of a judge, as well as on the classification of the names of witnesses by the police. He comes to the conclusion that everything is legal. Rejected on two counts.
The case was sent for revision to the police department.
Chronicle of the Trial 08/10/2020
Central District Court of Minsk
Judge Gustyr Y. (Густыр Ю.)
Judge: once again reads the norms of the legislation on the recall of the judge, as well as on the classification of the names of witnesses by the police. She comes to the conclusion that everything is legal. Rejected on two counts.
The judge interrogates the witness from the police. He asks to introduce himself.
Witness: Aleksandr Aleksandrovich (fictitious name). Central Department of Internal Affairs of Minsk.
Judge:Is there any police officer present near Marina?
Marina Dubina: Yes.
Judge: Can you please call them?
Judge: Do your best to ensure that Marina does not see a witness when the court determines the identity of the witness (apparently Marina is being taken away).
Judge: Witness, remove the mask and show your ID. Give your personal ID number.
Judge: Give back to the court the connection with Marina (evidently, the interrogation begins).
The judge explains the rights and obligations of the witness. He asks to sign a receipt, which will then be submitted to the court.
Judge: Were you on duty on August 23, 2020?
Witness: On August 23, 2020, I was on the job together with OMON officers to ensure the protection of public order.
Judge: Where were you at the time specified in the report.
Witness: At Pobediteley Avenue, Minsk. There was an unauthorized event. I was with a camera and was filming everything. Among the citizens taking part (from house 15 to house 41) in the rally was Marina. She was recorded by me on a video camera.
Judge: Did they move along the roadway or the pedestrian area?
Witness: Yes, people were walking along the roadway, there were flags in their hands, slogans were shouting “Live Belarus”. There were people who were playing the drum.
Judge: And the slogans “Go away” and “Shame” were shouting?
Judge: What did the participants of the event express with their actions?
Witness: They expressed their political sentiments as a result of the elections, and also expressed their dissatisfaction with the current government.
Judge: Do you know that the event was agreed upon?
Witness: We will be instructed upon entering the service on that day. The event has not been agreed upon.
Judge: How was the identity of Marina Dubina established?
Witness: I memorized her. She was wearing a blue jacket, she was wearing a mask. Then she took it off and I remembered her.
Judge: Marina, do you have any questions for the witness?
Marina Dubina: Where was I directly at that time? Did I shout slogans, did I hold something in my hands? If so, where is the evidence.
Witness: I did not specifically observe posters in your hands, but there were people around you shouting slogans. You were moving from house 15 to house 41 along Pobediteley Avenue (Stela District).
Marina Dubina: Did I understand correctly that you walked the whole route and filmed the participants of the event on video? Then I have a question: why didn’t you detain me?
Witness: On that day we detained other participants.
Marina Dubina: Then I want to clarify, when did you write a report about the fact that I took part in the event?
The judge appeals to the hall (someone got the phone). The judge says that video and photo shooting is prohibited.
Witness: If I am not mistaken (there were many detainees), I wrote the report the day before yesterday.
Marina Dubina: Do I understand correctly that a month and a half you thought you recognized me on August 23, 2020, and only now you have created a report?
Witness: We have a lot of work to do.
Marina Dubina: How else did you recognize me, except for the blue jacket and the medical mask on my face?
Witness: On your face (very bad sound).
Marina Dubina: Tell me, please, did you say that the girl in the mask was me? Then tell me what are the features of the face?
Witness: I have already answered this question, during the movement you took off your mask and I remember you.
Marina Dubina: That is, except for the jacket and the mask you do not remember anything?
Witness: I already told you, I remember your face.
Marina Dubina: Why didn’t you send me a summons to my place of residence?
Witness: It is not necessary.
Marina Dubina: Did you say that you were shooting on video camera? Did you say that?
Marina Dubina: Did you see the date and time of shooting?
Witness: I find it difficult to answer, we have many cameras, I do not know.
Marina Dubina: You said you were making a video recording? Didn’t you?
Witness: We have over 20 cameras in our department, they are used every day.
Marina Dubina: Well, you said that the report was made the day before yesterday! Do I understand correctly that you also watched the video the day before yesterday?
Witness: We have been watching the video for a long time.
Marina Dubina: Then how did you write the report without video?
Witness: Certain verification activities were conducted.
Marina Dubina: Explain, I do not understand. At first you were talking about the video, and then you say that you don’t remember when you watched the video.
Witness: I have seen it before.
Marina Dubina: And you do not remember anything about the date and time on the video?
Witness: As far as I know there is no date and time on the video.
Marina Dubina: Another question, why was the date September 23 in the first report? At the same address and at exactly the same time? You said that you exactly remember me a month and a half ago at the event.
Witness: This is a technical error. No more than that.
Marina Dubina: How did a technical error occur if you personally made a video recording?
Witness: I answered your question.
Marina Dubina has no questions to the witness at the moment. Then the witness is questioned by the lawyer.
Lawyer: Did you see a certain girl in a mask, and for some time she took it off? Is that correct?
Witness: Quite right.
Lawyer: Where was the girl when she took off her mask?
Witness: Near Stella (a monument in Minsk).
Lawyer: What time was it?
Witness: About 18:20.
Lawyer: Did you shoot it on video at that moment?
Witness: Unfortunately, this episode did not make it to the video.
Lawyer: What was the girl wearing besides a blue jacket and a mask?
Witness: I have many arrests, I will not tell you (does not remember). I will not tell you any details.
Lawyer: How exactly did you determine that the girl on the video is Marina Dubina?
Witness: I believe that this information is for official use only.
Lawyer: High Court, I ask for a second explanation of a witness’s obligation to answer questions.
Witness: I do not refuse to answer, but this information is of an official nature only.
Lawyer: Well, when exactly did you determine that the girl on the video is Marina Dubina?
Witness: The exact day I will tell you about her.
Lawyer: You wrote the report on October 6, 2020, and when did you establish your identity? Before October 6? Or on the same day?
Witness: Probably, till October 6, 2020.
Lawyer: Per week, per month?
Witness: I do not remember.
Lawyer: In this case, why didn’t you make a report on the day you identified yourself in the video?
Witness: We have a lot of work to do nowadays.
Lawyer: Are you aware of your obligation to report immediately?
Witness: I don’t remember the date we identified the person.
Lawyer: Did you register your report?
Witness: I can’t say for sure at the moment.
Lawyer: Did you say that you were filming?
Lawyer: What kind of video camera was it? (Mark)
Witness: There are more than 20 cameras in the department, can not remember.
Lawyer: How many minutes or seconds did you take off a girl in a jacket and a mask?
Witness: I do not remember exactly, I think less than 30 seconds.
Lawyer: Explain to me, where are you at the moment?
Witness: Why would you ask such a question? I am in the performance of my official duties.
Lawyer: In the performance of his official duties in what place?
The judge removes the question.
Lawyer: Have you seen and talked to the defendant until today? You probably see her on the screen? Have you seen her, talked before?
Witness: I took part in her detention.
Marina Dubina: This witness did not participate in my detention.
The judge makes a remark to her.
Lawyer: Was Marina invited to the police station to give an explanation before her arrest?
Witness: I do not know.
Lawyer: For what reason and by whom was the decision to detain Marina made?
Witness: A police officer.
Lawyer: Can you name a specific employee?
Lawyer: Explain, Marina Dubina, did you personally threaten in any way?
Witness: Did not threaten (embarrassed).
Lawyer: Then explain whose initiative was the decision to conceal your identity?
Witness: High Court, allow a motion for dismissal of the matter, it is irrelevant.
Judge: Well, you answer, do you know or do you not know who made the decision?
Witness: Yes, I do.
Lawyer: Was the concealment of your identity on your initiative or that of another person?
Witness: On my initiative, for security reasons.
Lawyer: So I return to the question I have already asked, why did you decide that information (voice-over) about your identity may threaten you?
Witness: I believe that the question is not of substance at all. I ask the judge to remove the question.
The judge rejects the request and asks that you answer the question.
Witness: I have concerns for my safety.
Marina Dubina: Witness, what color are my eyes? (explains that I wore a mask and could be seen accordingly).
The judge removes the question. The witness leaves.
Next, the judge reads the employee’s report (name is classified) saying that the date in the previous protocol was erroneously reflected. The video recording is attached to the administrative case (Marina Dubina’s face is not on it – aut.). A report from the head of the Central Department of Internal Affairs stating that the names of witnesses should be classified for the safety of them and their families.
Also attached is a screenshot showing a large number of people on the roadway, including a girl in a medical mask.
The judge reads the information from 3 previous administrative offences.
Marina Dubina: I would like to note that the administrative responsibility takes place a year after it was committed. During the last year I was not brought to administrative responsibility.
Judge: Your explanations will be reflected in the court report.
The judge goes on to study the case file, video recordings.
Judge: Can you see? (shows on the screen, aut. )
Marina Dubina: What exactly? Recording yes, you can see it.
Judge: Do you find yourself in this video among the people walking along the roadway?
Marina Dubina: I couldn’t even see who was there.
Judge: Shall I show you again?
Marina Dubina: You can again, but I did not see myself there.
Judge: Can you see the girl (on video)?
Marina Dubina: Girl in denim jacket and white shirt. All I can say.
Judge: Do you recognize yourself?
Marina Dubina: Hair is similar, all I can say.
The lawyer has no questions about the videotape of Marina Dubina.
Marina Dubina: Is there a video where you can see the face of this girl?
Judge: We watched all the videos that were presented to the court. There are no other videos.
Lawyer: I would like to draw your attention to the fact that it was not established that my client committed any illegal acts. Firstly, Marina Dubina participated in a mass event on Independence Avenue (another place is authored) and as she stressed, she was exercising her constitutional right and in particular (lawyer specifies) Articles 19 and 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The lawyer also emphasizes that the Law on Mass Events itself does not comply with the ICCPR (Belarus signed it – aut.). Also, the lawyer points out Article 26-27 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties), the state cannot refer to the domestic legislation in case of failure to fulfill obligations under an international treaty.
Accordingly, the Republic of Belarus, represented by state bodies, cannot refer to the Law if it contradicts international law (the Covenant – aut.).
Lawyer points out that no evidence of guilt is presented (neither on video nor from the words of a witness – his words are not confirmed). The lawyer insists that all testimony of a witness cannot be admitted to the case and is not in accordance with the law, due to the fact that the law does not provide for the concealment of these witnesses in administrative proceedings.
Lawyer also questions the administrative protocol, which is identical to yesterday’s. And the fact that this person was interviewed twice, as required. In addition, the witness was never able to explain how exactly he identified the suspect. It is not clear why the witness did not immediately submit a report on the initiation of administrative proceedings against Dubina (as he claimed a month and a half ago – aut.), which is completely inconsistent with administrative procedures.
The lawyer summed up that no evidence of guilt had been presented and the case should be stopped. He stops talking.
7 seconds! And the judge reads the sentence.
The court found her guilty. 13 days of arrest.