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Trial over Frenchman Jolan Viaud continues in Belarus. Witnesses invited

The trial of the 24-year-old French citizen Jolan Viaud, who was detained at the Belarus border on September 21 with one cartridge, continued on November 17 in Gomel.

Viaud is charged in line with part 2 of Art. 295 and part 1 of Art. 333-1 of the Criminal Code of Belarus (unlawful actions with respect to firearms and ammunition and their movement across the border). During the first day of the trial, on November 15, the Frenchman did not admit his guilt.

Details from Day 1: Trial over Frenchman Jolan Viaud begins in Belarus: what his brother thinks

On November 17, Natalya Potapovich, who works as an insurance agent at the checkpoint Novaya Guta, was interrogated in court. On September 21, she was an attesting witness when the scene of the incident was inspected and the protocol was drawn up.

The witness noted that during the procedural actions the ammunition was on the table. The protocol, she said, was drawn up during 15-20 minutes, the cartridge was packed and sealed as material evidence. The insurance agent said that she does not know English, but she had the impression that the translator who was present at the time when the protocol was drawn up had good English skills.

The second witness, Maria Burlak, who also works as an insurance agent, reported the same about the protocol and that the cartridge was "quickly shown and put in the evidence bag." She said she signed the protocol without reading it. The witness also indicated that there was no interpreter when the protocol was drafted. "It was the customs officer who spoke in English, not the interpreter," Burlak said.

Border guard Denis Avdeenko, who serves at the checkpoint Novaya Guta, told the court that during passport control he called the customs officer to inspect the Frenchman. The Frenchman was asked where he is coming from and where he plans to go, and offered to show the baggage. "In the process, he took out a cartridge, and asked: is this object forbidden or not?" said the witness.

"Did you take the initiative to inspect things? Who was the initiator of the inspection?" clarified the judge. "We, together with the customs officer. I invited him. He himself put the backpack on the table for inspection," said Avdeyenko, who does not speak English either. The customs officer, he said, communicated with the Frenchman "using short phrases".

At the first session of the court, the participants explained that Viaud passed customs control and went to passport control, where he was returned to customs control. According to one of the customs officers, the Frenchman was subjected to examination because of his beard. He noted that in principle the inspection is not necessary, and it can be done selectively.

Case materials were also voiced today in court.

SEE: Frenchman Jolan Viaud detained in Belarus with bullet in pocket

Trial over Frenchman Jolan Viaud continues in Belarus. Witnesses invited