Viewing cable 08VILNIUS193
Title: JUDGE ORDERS CONTINUANCE IN KIM CASE, TRIAL TO BE

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
08VILNIUS1932008-04-03 10:42:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXRO2064
OO RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHVL #0193 0941042
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 031042Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2125
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE PRIORITY 0197
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS BE PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L VILNIUS 000193 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
AMEMBASSY MINSK SENDS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/03/2018 
TAGS: PREL PHUM PINR BO LH
SUBJECT: JUDGE ORDERS CONTINUANCE IN KIM CASE, TRIAL TO BE 
JOINED WITH OTHERS 
 
REF: A. MINSK 099 
     ¶B. MINSK 219 
     ¶C. MINSK 221 
 
Classified By: A/DCM Louis J. Crishock for reason 1.4 (d) 
 
¶1.  (C) After opening formalities, Andrey Kim's trial for an 
alleged assault against a police officer during a January 
entrepreneurs' demonstration was halted April 1.  The 
presiding judge ordered both a continuance in the case and 
the joining of this trial with another trial of Kim and 
numerous other defendants on charges of organizing or 
participating in an event that disrupts the public order. 
Civil society activists present at the trial told A/DCM that 
they expected the trial would reconvene within two weeks. 
 
Leading Opposition Figures Come Out to Support Kim 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
 
¶2.  (C) Many leading figures from civil society and the 
democratic opposition attended the trial as a show of moral 
support for the 22-year old Kim.  Former presidential 
candidate and leader of "For Freedom" Aleksandr Milinkevich, 
Belarusian Popular Front (BPF) Chair Levon Barshchevskiy, 
United Civic Party Chair Anatoliy Lebedko, and former 
political prisoner and leader of the Belarusian Social 
Democratic Party-Narodnaya Gramada Nikolay Statkevich were 
just a few of the politicians and activists present to 
support Kim.  In addition to A/DCM, diplomats from the French 
local EU presidency and the OSCE observed the proceedings. 
 
Kim Seems Strong; The Evidence Against Him, Not So Strong 
--------------------------------------------- ------------ 
 
¶3.  (C) Kim was seated in the courtroom's holding cell for 
most of the proceedings.  Dressed in a black t-shirt with a 
bible passage written on it, Kim -- who has been incarcerated 
since January 21 (ref A) -- appeared to be in good health and 
spirits and answered the judge's questions in a strong voice. 
 
¶4.  (C) Enira Bronitskaya, a former political prisoner and 
leader of the NGO Solidarnost, told A/DCM that the decision 
to order a continuance and to join Kim's trial to other 
proceedings came as no surprise.  The GOB's case against Kim, 
in Bronitskaya's opinion, was weak.  She intimated that she 
had seen the tape the GOB intends to introduce as evidence 
against Kim and it shows little to support the assault charge. 
 
Spetsnaz Troops Drive Kim Supporters from the Street 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
 
¶5.  (C) During a break in the proceedings, youth activists 
earlier turned away from the trial due to lack of space 
assembled on a sidewalk across the street from the court and 
unfurled a "Freedom For Andrey Kim" banner and chanted 
"Freedom" and "Andrey, We are with you."  Soon after, 
Spetsnaz troops forcibly removed them from the area. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
¶6.  (C) Unfortunately -- both for him and for Belarus -- the 
outcome of this trial has little to do with the strength of 
the evidence against Kim.  His conviction is all but a 
certainty, with a long sentence a strong possibility: on the 
assault charge alone he could receive six years behind bars. 
The regime's willingness to violently suppress peaceful 
demonstrators (ref B), to persecute the free press (ref C) 
and to create new political prisoners should put to rest any 
notion of its readiness for substantial reform. 
 
Moore 
CLOUD