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    Statement of Public Prosecutor General of Poland, Zbigniew Ziobro in connection with the conviction of Nobel Laureate Ales Bialiatski

    On Friday, a Belarusian court in a show trial sentenced Ales Bialiatski, a Belarusian human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, to 10 years in a maximum-security penal colony. Public Prosecutor General of Poland Zbigniew Ziobro assesses this conviction as an act of lawlessness.

    This event, apart from Belarus’s participation in Russia’s bandit attack on Ukraine, is another confirmation that the country’s authorities have placed themselves outside the European legal culture.

    Friday’s verdict of the Belarusian court is another ruling according to which Ales Bialiatski is to be placed in a penal colony. A similar decision had been made previously in 2011.

    Public Prosecutor General of Poland Zbigniew Ziobro regrets that in 2011, Polish National Public Prosecutor’s Office, in response to a request for legal assistance from the Belarusian authorities, provided it with evidence in the form of the history of the oppositionist’s bank accounts, which could then be the basis for further repressions against the Belarusian oppositionist and his detention by the Belarusian investigating authorities in early August 2011 and convictions for alleged tax offences. The Prosecutor General’s Office provided the materials despite the negative position regarding the possibility of implementing the request of the Belarusian side, expressed by prosecutor Elżbieta Janicka from the International Legal Relations Department at the District Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw.

    In connection with the transfer of materials concerning the oppositionist to the Belarusian regime, prosecutor Krzysztof Karsznicki, director of the department dealing with international cooperation, and his deputy lost their positions in the General Prosecutor’s Office at that time. Prosecutor Anna Adamiak, who dealt directly with the case at the General Public Prosecutor’s Office , was the subject of disciplinary proceedings, which in the first instance ended with discontinuation due to negligible social harmfulness of the act, and in the second instance with acquittal on June 15, 2016. Public Prosecutor General of Poland considers this decision to be unjust.

    Public Prosecutor General of Poland assures of his full solidarity with the Belarusian opposition in terms of its goal of making Belarus a state ruled by law, respecting the fundamental legal principles of democratic states.

    Public Prosecutor General of Poland
    Zbigniew Ziobro

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