4 Mar 2019 13:53

Tut.by editor-in-chief fined $3,600

MINSK. March 4 (Interfax) - The Minsk Zavodskoi District Court has ordered Marina Zolotova, editor-in-chief of the portal tut.by, to pay a fine in the amount of Br7,650 (some $3,600), an Interfax correspondent has reported from the courtroom.

Zolotova "is found guilty of deliberate, despite the interests of her service, non-fulfilment of actions by an official, because of an ulterior and personal interest, that she could and should have taken with respect to her service duties, associated with connivance in a crime that led to the infliction of considerable damage to state and public interests," Judge Alexander Petrash said.

"She is ordered to pay a fine in the amount of 300 basic units, which is 7,650 [Belarusian] rubles," he said.

The judge said the sentence can be appealed in accordance with the procedures set out by the legislation.

On February 12, Minsk's Zavodskoi District Court began hearing the case against Zolotova.

She is the only defendant in the BelTA case. She is charged with negligence by an official, a crime punishable by a fine or up to five years in prison.

There were originally 15 defendants in the case; 14 were charged with unauthorized access to computer information. The charges were dropped following compensation of damages (which ranged from 3,000 to 17,000 Belarusian rubles) and the payment of administrative fines equal to 30 basic units (735 Belarusian rubles).

On August 7-8, 2018, the offices of tut.by, the country's biggest news website, as well as those of BelaPAN and other media outlets, were searched, in connection with a criminal case over unauthorized access to BelTA's information.

The case was opened after BelTA reported that subscribers were encountering problems when trying to access paid services.