Journalist Andrei Poczobut was released from the Grodno prison on cognizance not to leave the country.
"They came into the camera and told to collect things. I thought, they will bring me to another cell, but I was just taken out of the prison gates", Andrei Poczobut told Radio Liberty.
- Did they bring the official charge against you?
- Yes, I was charged - Article 367, Part 2 - "defamation of the president". They brought it today, approximately at 12 o'clock in the presence of my lawyer.
- What could be the further investigations? Will they summon you for interrogations?
- This is better to ask the investigators. My next steps are - at the moment I got out of prison, and very glad to look at the prison from the other side. I'm coming home. I understand, their goal was to intimidate me .. But I'm not afraid.
- How would you explain that you've been released on parole?
- It is difficult to explain at once. Perhaps, this is the result of some pressure. Either at the very beginning the authorities knew they would "close" me before the court. There are too many unknowns in this case. Perhaps I would be able to say more, if I had talked to investigators. But I refused to give any testimonies, to cooperate with the investigation. So I do not know much except what is written in the regulations.
Andrei Poczobut was arrested on June 21. Criminal case was brought against him and he is charged under Article 367 of the Criminal Code, part 2 - "Defamation of the President contained in a public speech or in print or publicly performed work, or in the media, by a person previously convicted of defamation or insult".
Under the Criminal Code, the journalist can be punished by restriction of liberty for a term of 5 years or imprisonment for the same period.
Poczobut refused to cooperate with the investigation. On June 30, 10 days of his detention ended, and they had to charge him.