MINSK, 24 February (BelTA) – Western countries are trying to introduce a new practice of putting pressure on courts via diplomats. Press Secretary of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Anatoly Glaz made the statement in response to more frequent visits of foreign diplomats to certain court sessions and certain non-governmental organizations in Belarus, BelTA has learned.
The official noted that Belarus respects the universally recognized norms and standards in relation to court proceedings. Courts decide in favor of or against open court sessions in accordance with the effective legislation, including for the sake of ensuring unbiased rulings and for the sake of ruling out pressure on courts. “The country has conditions for open court proceedings and laws that regulate the possibility of attendance of court sessions, including the attendance of foreign representatives (diplomats, consular workers) during court sessions that involve citizens of the respective countries,” Anatoly Glaz explained.
The official continued: “However, at present we see an attempt of Western countries to introduce a new practice – the practice of influencing the court via diplomats. The unjustified presence of foreign diplomats during open court sessions that deal with cases that do not involve their citizens is in essence an attempt to clandestinely influence court rulings. I would like to stress that the attempts are made not by foreign citizens but by diplomats as official representatives of foreign states. I am talking about de facto pressure on courts by foreign states.”
In his words, such a practice is unacceptable for any sovereign state from the point of view of inadmissibility of interference in domestic affairs and from the point of view of inadmissibility of violating the independence of the court system. “Attempts of foreign states to put pressure on the Belarusian court system, including planned PR actions in the form of collective attendance by foreign diplomats of court sessions, which do not directly deal with citizens of the foreign states, cannot be anything else but an abuse of the diplomatic status. We reserve the right to suppress such attempts by means of all legal capabilities in line with the national legislation and international law, including tools specified by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” the official stated.
Anatoly Glaz also remarked that the practice of visits of foreign diplomats to non-governmental organizations, officially not registered ones at that, organizations, whose personnel are involved in court proceedings on suspicion of illegal financial operations, including using illegal foreign funding, looks quite questionable. “I would like to stress that unjustified remarks by foreign diplomats about such court proceedings look particularly strange because such illegal financial operations in their countries are also prosecuted,” the press secretary added.