Court drops Helsinki Committee's lawsuit vs Belarus government

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The Supreme Economic Court of Belarus has stopped proceedings into the lawsuit filed by the Belarusian Helsinki Committee against the Council of Ministers, the human rights group's lawyer Aleh Hulak told the European Radio for Belarus. The Belarusian Helsinki Committee sought to appeal what it describes as an illegitimate use of financial sanctions for failing to pay taxes on the funds received by the organization as a humanitarian aid with TACIS Program (nearly $75,000).

The Belarusian Helsinki Committee believes that the Council of Ministers should be put the blame on, because it has delayed to bring the Belarusian laws in line with a president's decree which exempts the humanitarian aid from levies.

"The inaction of the Council of Ministers has caused losses to us," Hulak says. However, the court ruled that the case was closed.

"The problem is that it is very difficult to sue the Council of Ministers in court, because it is not a legal entity, according to the Belarusian laws.

This is a body of authority and it is impossible to appeal its action in practce. It is also a problem to bring it to responsibility for illegitimate actions," Hulak said.

No representative of the government appeared today in the Supreme Economic Court.