Updated at 18:29,16-01-2018

Interpreter did not translate Frenchman Jolan Viaud's phrase about Lukashenka

Euroradio

Interpreter did not translate Frenchman Jolan Viaud's phrase about Lukashenka
Frenchman Jolan Viaud's intepreter: Photo from Radio Svaboda's video stream
The interpreter for Jolan Viaud who stood trial in Homiel for an attempt to smuggle ammunition across the border, chose to disregard the Frenchman's words about Aliaksandr Lukashenka during translation. On 20 November, a Homiel district court found the foreigner who had spent almost two months behind bars not guilty. The Frenchman was released in the courtroom. When asked by reporters upon the release if he would visit Belarus once again, Viaud said: "When one day Lukashenks is no longer the president, why not?" The interpreter did not dare to pronounce what he said.

The Frenchman told reporters that it was cold in his cell over the past two weeks because central heating was switched off. He also saw rats and cockroaches.

Jolan Viaud is not going to take measures to win comensation for damages and for what he had to endure when in Belarusian pretrial jail. "There are more positives than negative things in the experience that I have obtained. I want to leave everything as it is," he said.

The 24-year-old France national and a resident of London was detained on 21 September at a Belarus-Ukraine border post when he was on his way from Lithuania to Ukraine. He was accused of an attempt to smuggle a cartridge (that he thought was a dummie souvenir) and faced up to 7 years in prison. The prosecutor asked to award a fine of $3450 and release him. The court, however, found the Frenchman not guilty.

Interpreter did not translate Frenchman Jolan Viaud's phrase about Lukashenka

Jolan Viaud. Image: Radio Svaboda