Judge Ilyina creates nervous atmosphere at Central district court

The trial of 10 participants of the January 2008 protests in the Belarusian capital is continuing at Minsk's Central District Court. The court today continued to question prosecution witnesses, including traffice police inspectors.

Nasha Niva newspaper reports that witness Padbyarozkin testified that Tatsyana Tsishkevich behaved aggressively towards traffice police officers and also "spearheaded the violent column of the Belarusian Popular Front". According to the witness, some protesters were drunk. Padbyarozkin said that he and several other traffic police officers were beaten up.

Human rights defender Alena Tankachova told the European Radio for Belarus that the defendants are taking an active position, trying to pose many questions to the traffice police officers acting as witnesses. They are trying to find out why the traffic police did not take necessary meassures in order to ensure the public order and safety of the citizens who took part in the manifestations and who happened to be accidentally on the scene of the protest.

The representatives of the traffic police react quite aggressively. Even Judge Ilyina creates a nervous atmosphere. During the today's hearing, she threatened to remove Tsishkevich and Pashkevich from the hearing room when they laughed at the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses.