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Polish TV network dismisses Belarusian embassy`s accusations over its documentary about Minsk subway bombing
Polish television network TVN has dismissed the Warsaw-based Belarusian embassy’s accusations over its documentary about the April 11, 2011 Minsk subway bombing as unfounded, BelaPAN said.
In its scathing open letter released on May 24, the embassy did not put forward a single specific argument to substantiate its "sweeping accusations," TVN said in a statement issued later in the day.
“Our firm principle is to check every piece of information that is gathered to create a report,” the channel said.
Commenting on the embassy’s accusation that The Face of Justice in Belarus was a piece of “outrageous manipulation of facts that has nothing to do with the reality,” TVN said: “In a democratic country, it is only up to an independent court to decide whether a report is a manipulation of facts or based on false information, not verified evidence.”
The channel said that the subway bombing trial had been condemned by a number of observers. “Even the UN Human Rights Committee and the European Parliament raised the issue,” it said. “Moreover, the international community repeatedly called on the Belarusian regime not to carry out the executions and retry the case. The appeals were prompted by an analysis of evidence submitted [by the prosecution] in court.”
As for the embassy’s suggestion that TVN should also run the Subway film produced by Belarus’ government-owned TV channel ONT “for the sake of the principles of freedom of expression and pluralism,” the Polish channel said that it, for its turn, wanted people in Belarus to see its documentary to allow them to “decide on their own whether any manipulations of facts took place.”
It added that it was ready to upload Subway on its website so that Polish viewers could form their own opinion about "the credibility and honesty" of its authors, suggesting that the Belarusian embassy, however, should first supply it with the film in a Polish-language version.
Two young residents of Vitsyebsk -- Dzmitry Kanavalaw and Uladzislaw Kavalyow -- were sentenced to death over the Minsk subway bombing in a trial that was condemned by many observers as hasty and unfair.
As a result of the trial held between September 15 and November 30, 2011, the two men were also convicted of two 2005 bomb explosions in Vitsyebsk, and a bomb attack during an open-air Independence Day concert in Minsk in July 2008. The Supreme Court of Belarus found Mr. Kanavalaw guilty of committing the explosions and Mr. Kavalyow was found guilty of being accomplice to the crimes.
Mr. Kavalyow applied for a presidential pardon in early December, while Mr. Kanavalaw decided against doing so, according to authorities.
On March 14, it became known that Alyaksandr Lukashenka had denied clemency to the men. Three days later, the ONT television network announced that Messrs. Kavalyow and Kanavalaw had been executed.