Uladzimir Matskevich: Total lying has become court practice, which poses threat to every citizen

Aliaksei Yurych, EuroBelarus Information Service

Central district court of Minsk tried to convict Uladzimir Matskevich for participating in a rally, who, meanwhile was outside Belarus. Instead of “the feasible” contribution to replenish the state treasury in the form of a fine, Uladzimir Matskevich revealed the scheme of false testimony in Belarusan courts.

Central district court of Minsk on March 15 sent the case of the philosopher and methodologist Uladzimir Matskevich for additional investigation. Matskevich presented the plane tickets and a stamp in the passport, which confirms that on 15 February he was in Warsaw, though the riot police, who were testifying in court claimed to have seen Matskevich at the demonstration.

The Head of Board of the International Consortium “EuroBelarus” Uladzimir Matskevich shared his conclusions made from the court session with the EuroBelarus Information Service.

— How did you managed to turn a standard trial aimed at getting the money from the opposition into the exposure of the false witnesses?

— Such trials are fairly standard; the script is well known to everyone including me. But it is not so easy to prove it all: both the courts and the law enforcement bodies are tied to each other by mutual responsibility. Therefore, the judge knows that the witnesses at these processes lie. But the judges are used to pronouncing blueprinted sentences. Usually, it is those people who participated or at least were present at the opposition demonstrations who are called to account. A foul language or gesticulation, which he attributed to these people by such “witnesses”, is quite difficult to refute. Moreover, the judges accept the evidence of the police unconditionally.

In this case, I had quite a convincing alibi, confirmed by documents that are difficult to forge and impossible to buy. When I was persistently summoned to court, I decided to use a good opportunity to show what is this kind of “justice” is really worth. Actually, I did a standard procedure, which any smart and thinking participant of such demonstrations would have done in my place.

There is nothing special, the circumstances just emerged: a mistake was made by the employees of the Central Department of Internal Affairs, and the judge hasn’t bothered to check the factual background.

— The court made a strange decision — to send the protocol to the police department for revision. Is there anything to revise?

— The decision only looks strange at first unprofessional glance. The experts explained me the specifics of administrative proceedings: the judge's ruling in this situation looks quite logical. She withdrew herself from the blow by not passing a conviction; at the same time, she didn’t recognize the testimony of the three police officers, who are not obliged to testify against themselves, as false and there is not enough case materials for prosecuting the witnesses for giving false testimony.

But at the same time the judge knows that the witnesses lied, because all the witnesses are lying in such processes, but it is very rarely possible to prove the fact of perjury. By sending the protocol on completion, the judge withdrew herself from the blow and made it impossible to accuse the witnesses of perjury. But the worst thing is that the code of practice gives no possibility to appeal this decision.

— Perjury is a felony. Do you intend to bring this incident to its logical conclusion?

— Perjury in administrative proceedings shall be subject to administrative proceedings, not criminal. Since the court wasn’t criminal, the perjury, if the case comes to trial, will be investigated in the administrative process.

But the case still needs to be brought to court, which is problematic for me, inexperienced in law. I will try to bring the case to court after consultation with competent people; I may even be able to do something.

— It’s not for the first time that the court tries to hold accountable for the participation in the meetings that you haven’t participated in. What caused such keen interest in your person?

— Let's be clear: this is the first time that I was brought to responsibility for the event I haven’t participated in. Last time the case wasn’t brought to court upon my claim to the police, who stopped the investigation. But I attended the demonstration, although I didn’t take part in it: I passed by when the journalists caught me. Generally, it is wrongful to call me to account on the basis of journalistic materials. At least the courts don’t take journalistic materials as evidence, for example, in favor of the accused.

As a philosopher and a citizen, as a public figure, I would have paid attention to something different. If total lying became the practice of administrative courts, if the liars are subpoenaed as witnesses, if the authorities, which cover them, instruct them to commit perjury, it means that the same practice may spread to the criminal proceedings. We already know the facts, when many criminal cases are also fabricated. If this practice extends to criminal cases in the country, where there is the death penalty, where the head of state categorically refuses to impose a moratorium on the death penalty, it means that almost any person can be killed in “accordance with the law” on the basis of false statements, which law enforcement officials give. We, the citizens, must understand: this kind of toleration has led to the fact that the entire law enforcement system is rotten to the core. We know that the trial of Kavaliou and Kanavalau is also built on the false testimony of police officers, in result of which at least two people were killed as a result of criminal proceedings. And it's scary. It is not totalitarianism, where people are killed or exiled under a certain program. This means that every citizen of Belarus is in danger. A person cannot live a normal, stable, confident life in the country where the law enforcement system is built on a lie, which is put in practice.

A particular trial of a very slight administrative case should be an indicator that the country is in danger. And our national task is to start changing the situation in the country. Do not let lying even on the most insignificant occasion; anyone who lies in court, should be subjected to the cruelest punishment — both for administrative and criminal cases. And the police, who, following an order, commit perjury in court, have no place in law enforcement, they should be blacklisted to work with people for the rest of their life.