Home News ‘Frenchman With Cartridge’ Acquitted, Release

‘Frenchman With Cartridge’ Acquitted, Release


Today, a court in Homel has made a sentence in the case of citizen of France Jolan Viaud, who attepted to transport a cartridge through the Belarus-Ukraine border. He has been acquitted and released over the absence of corpus delicti in his actions.

No one in the courtroom seems to doubt that Jolan Viaud will be released today, given that even the State Prosecutor offered at the previous session, having referred to the special article in the Criminal Code, to appoint punishment lower than the prescribed minimum — namely, to fine the French guy (for quite a big sum though, Bn 6 900), and release him. Nevertheless, the judge took a pause. And the defendant had to spend the weekend in the remand prison.

Today’s trial started with the defendant’s last word:

— All my life I tried to be honest, respected the laws of my country of France and Great Britain, where I live, and any other country where my foot stepped. I had no intention of coming here and committing a crime, — Jolan said.

The young man said that he came to the country to visit his acquaintance. But, despite the first negative experience, he said, he is not disappointed in Belarus, but touched by how careful were the unfamiliar people who sent parcels and letters with words of support.

— I like to travel because I love freedom. And I would never trade freedom for this souvenir. Once again I repeat that I had no intention of committing a crime. This time in jail is, I think, sufficient, because I experienced so much fear, so much that it served me a good lesson…

Hardly more than three months ago the 24-year-old Frenchman went on a trip across Europe: Spain, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia. On September 21, Viaud was detained on the way from Belarus to Ukraine while passing customs control along the “red corridor”: a cartridge was found among his belongings, which, according to the foreigner, was presented to him by his Polish friend.

The examination showed that the cartridge was working and can be used as an ammunition. So Viaud appeared behind the bars. He was accused over two articles connected with illegal actions concerning firearms, ammunition and explosives and their illegal transfer across the border.