The Minsk City Court has appointed Marina Zolotova, editor-in-chief of the Belarusian opposition website Tut.by, and Lyudmila Chekina, general director, 12 years in prison. They were found guilty of tax evasion, as well as inciting hatred and calling for action against the national security of Belarus. It is reported by " Belta ".
There were five defendants in total. Only Zolotova and Chekina were in custody. Olga Loiko, editor of the economics and politics department, Elena Tolkacheva, correspondent, and Yekaterina Tkachenko, legal adviser, were released from the pre-trial detention center on personal guarantee.
The case was considered behind closed doors.
Searches and detentions in Tut.by took place on May 18, 2021. The security forces came to the homes of the company's employees and representatives of partner organizations, as well as to offices in Minsk and regional centers. On that day, 15 people were detained. But later, most of the defendants were released from custody.
The publication "Nasha Niva" writes that on the eve of the verdict, a propaganda film about Tut.by was shown on Belarusian television. The employees of the portal were accused of Russophobia, aggravating the situation in Belarus during the protests, inciting hatred and tax evasion. “The story uses interviews of employees who were imprisoned at that moment and were actually hostages. In the almost one and a half hour video, there is not a word from Lyudmila Chekina and only one quote from Marina Zolotova, most likely cut from the records of investigative actions, where she states that the portal has always adhered to journalistic standards, ”the newspaper writes.