Posted: 08.02.2023 12:03:00

Everything will be according to the law

The results of the reform of the judicial system, the investigation of the criminal case on the genocide of the Belarusian people, the creation of a commission to work with those wishing to return to their homeland — these and other issues were in the focus of attention during reports to the President of Belarus by Chairman of the Supreme Court Valentin Sukalo and Prosecutor General Andrei Shved.

Andrei Shved

On the principles of goodwill

Aleksandr Lukashenko instructed the Prosecutor General, together with the Head of the President Administration, to prepare a large-scale meeting with law enforcers.
“We will talk frankly about the challenges and shortcomings. The most important thing is the shortcomings of the entire power unit. Including the army,” the Belarusian leader stressed.
Another topic of the report was the investigation of the criminal case into the genocide of the population of Belarus during the Great Patriotic War and the post-war period. The criminal process was launched by the Prosecutor General’s Office in April 2021.
“I see that you have been taking active efforts. Well done, this is a very necessary work. This will remain in history forever,” the Belarusian leader emphasised.
The President also spoke about the signing of the decree on commission to work with those wishing to return home.
“This is one of the most important issues. If we did not include anything in the decree, the Prosecutor General has enough power to engage the entire state apparatus, civil servants to solve the issue with those who left the country. We should look not only at the so-called self-exiled opposition. There can be others. They understand very well that we will find them anyway. Someone will apply to the commission. You will sort everything out in the commission,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The commission also includes people who were among the victims of the committed offenses. The President supported this approach, “Then the public will understand that it is not Lukashenko, Shved and others in power who make decisions (of course, we need to organise everything and be active participants). But those who saw what was happening and had to tolerate violence or offenses committed against them should take an active part in the work of the commission, too.”
The Head of State stressed that the authorities a priori are not going to deprive anyone of their freedom. On the other hand, he noted, if a citizen really deserved punishment, then he or she would hardly consider the possibility to apply to the established commission, 
“Everything will be according to the law. You correctly proposed an application-based principle (over the internet or by mail). We are not going to drag people here by force to imprison them, as they claim, or even to speak to them. This is our goodwill, we have demonstrated it. Please contact us, and we will consider your applications. If you don’t want to, stay there. If you want to fight, please go ahead. Fine, if you want to sweep the streets, you are welcome.”
Another point that the Head of State drew attention to was the situation in the headquarters of the self-exiled opposition. In particular, Aleksandr Lukashenko commented on the uproar in the media, “Tikhanovskaya-Latushko supporters in Lithuania and Poland have really taken leave of their senses. I want people to understand that they are desperate for money today. The West will only finance specific events, more of a radical nature, and not even at the level of 2020. I mean the overthrow, the assassination of the President, officials. They want everyone on their way to be removed. The West will finance such projects.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasised that Tikhanovskaya-Latushko supporters are afraid that some of these people, God forbid, the majority of them, will go back to Belarus, will apply to this commission, “Then they will get no money. Because there is no one behind them, behind these offices. Today they are allocated scarce money, and all this money does not reach these 2,000-4,000 people. This money ends up in the hands of the bosses in the offices, they divide the money up between themselves. They need money to live on…”
However, Ukrainians offer them (the military visit them) to go to the front, to fight against Russia. They all speak a lot about the Kalinovsky regiment. The President commented on this structure and the plans of the self-exiled opposition, “There are about 100 fighters in this so-called regiment. Those ‘great colonels and lieutenant colonels’ run around shouting that ‘we are setting up a people’s liberation army’. There are only 100 fighters in that army, and all of them are fighting near Bakhmut/Artyomovsk. Quite a few people are dying there. I would repeat: they need money to live on. But there are also lunatics there, those who are ready to fight against Russia and come here to fight against the Belarusian people. Well, it is their choice after all.”

Modern justice

Valentin Sukalo
Aleksandr Lukashenko began his meeting with Chairman of the Supreme Court Valentin Sukalo by mentioning that this year will mark the 100th anniversary of the Supreme Court of Belarus. The President asked about the development of the judicial system in Belarus, the results of the measures taken to reform it, including the constitutional changes, as well as the process of establishing the institution of appeal at the Supreme Court, taking into account the experience of economic courts, “We have launched the reform of the judicial system. What the results of this work are? We are soon to hold the Belarusian People’s Congress. The courts will be brought under the supervision of the Belarusian People’s Congress. Therefore, the independence of the judiciary has been thus strengthened… Have we made a mistake?”
 Valentin Sukalo assured the President that the judicial system met all the constitutional requirements, calmly responds to all challenges and threats, masters the volumes of justice that it has today. At the same time, it does not stand still. It continues to improve and reform. The third stage of the judicial reform has been completed, and it is already possible to draw some conclusions. Valentin Sukalo gave such an assessment, “First of all, of course, the organisation of the work of the courts has improved. This is undeniable. When we introduced audio recording of court sessions (and now we will also conduct video recording), trials have become completely different: less conflicting. This made justice both public and at the same time more conciliatory.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko inquired about the opinion of the Chairman of the Supreme Court and about the forthcoming work with the appeals of citizens wishing to return to their homeland.
Valentin Sukalo expressed his point of view first to the Head of State, and then to journalists, “I will not hide the fact that now the number of extremist criminal cases has slightly increased. We, the courts, are primarily interested in seeing that there are still fewer such cases. If some of them do not reach the court, but will be terminated at the pre-trial stage, I think this can only be welcomed. Of course, if these people repented of their deeds and repaired the damage.”

Based on materials of and
Photos by BELTA