18 March 2002
On 14 March 2002, the Minsk Regional Court sentenced two former
members of the Interior Ministry's special forces to life in prison for the
murder of five persons and the July 2000 disappearance of journalist and
cameraman Dmitri Zavadski. No further details concerning the journalist's
probable assassination were exposed during the trial and sentencing.
RSF underlines that during the trial, no new information materialised that would
establish the location of the disappeared journalist's body, determine the exact
circumstances surrounding his murder, or help to identify the persons who
ordered the journalist's abduction.
RSF is surprised that the Minsk court did not make a serious effort to find
answers to these unresolved questions. The organisation believes that a proper
investigation must now be launched in order to identify the guilty parties. RSF
also supports the various efforts by Svetlana Zavadskaya, Zavadski's widow, and
her lawyer to determine the facts of this case and ensure that those responsible
for the journalist's abduction and murder are punished accordingly.