Updated at 16:11,02-12-2016

Nasha Niva handed fine of 14 million rubels

A judge of the Minsk City Economic Court on Friday imposed a fine of 14 million rubels ($2,800) on Nasha Niva, a private newspaper critical of the government, BelaPAN said.

Earlier this year, the information ministry requested the police to institute proceedings against Nasha Niva under the Civil Offenses Code on the grounds that the paper received two warnings within a year.

This was the first such case brought by the police against a newspaper at the request of the information ministry.

Nasha Niva said that the most recent warning leading to the fine had been handed by the ministry on July 6. The newspaper was warned for failure to indicate its subscription code in the June 1 issue.

A representative of the newspaper argued in court that the violation was a minor one and the fine was disproportionate, but Judge Alyaksandr Karamyshaw was unmoved.

On July 12, the information ministry unexpectedly dropped its closure suit against Nasha Niva. The ministry filed the suit on April 27, making use of regulations providing that a publication may be closed down by a court decision if it has received two or more formal warnings from the information ministry within a year.