9 Jan 2019 15:20

Case of tut.by editor-in-chief Zolotova sent to Belarusian prosecutors

MINSK. Jan 9 (Interfax) - The Belarusian Investigative Committee has sent the criminal case of Marina Zolotova, the editor-in-chief of tut.by, to the Prosecutor General's Office.

"The criminal case against the editor of tut.by's editorial office [Marina Zolotova] was directed to the Prosecutor General's Office on January 2 to be sent to court," Investigative Committee spokesperson Yulia Goncharova told Interfax.

Zolotova is the only remaining defendant in the BelTA case. She is charged with negligence by an official and faces a fine or up to five years in prison if found guilty.

There were originally 15 defendants in the BelTA case, 14 of them charged with accessing computer information without authorization. The charges were dropped following the compensation of damages (which ranged from 3,000 to 17,000 Belarusian rubles) and the payment of administrative fines equivalent to 30 basic units (735 Belarusian rubles).

The offices of tut.by, the country's biggest news website, as well as those of the agency BelaPAN and other media outlets were searched on August 7 and 8, 2018, in connection with a criminal case over unauthorized access to information of the state news agency BelTA. The case was opened after BelTA reported that subscribers were encountering problems when trying to access paid services.