Nemesis and the Rule of Law in Belarus
Picture of Nicolas

Nicolas

BY 2018.06.05 Arzinger Attorneys Buro – Minsk
Attornyes at Law

Attornyes at Law in GR-SW-BY

Early in June 2018, I started to work with the Law Firm Arzinger in Minsk. The day I undersigned the contract, I met the members of the Legal Team, which consists of Mr. Alexander Korsak (Managing Partner), Ms. Elena Mashonskaya (Partner), Ms. Tamara Nesterovich (Legal Assistant), and Ms. Julia Mironchik (Attorney).

Ms. Mashonskaya and Ms. Tamara Nesterovich (who speaks the English language and helped me communicate with Ms.  Mashonskaya) represented me in the courtrooms of Belarus.

My Greek lawyer, Ms. Poni, and I communicated mainly with Ms. Nesterovich and with Mr. Korsak, who speaks English perfectly.

I felt secure and safe with this legal team. They were well-organized, effective, and creative! Their cross-border cooperation with Ms. Poni in Greece went smoothly.

Ms. Mashonskaya did her best to protect the interests of my children and of me as a left-behind parent every time we met in the courtrooms of Belarus. She is also a great negotiator and always smiling. Ms. Mashonskaya is definitely not someone who will sit down when a Judge gives her a nasty look.

In April 2019, when I was in Minsk in an attempt to celebrate my youngest daughter’s birthday, I was informed that Mr. Korsak and Ms. Elena Mashonskaya would work separately for a while. I did not feel good about it, but I had no other choice than to accept it.

Because I know Ms. Elena Mashonskaya’s skills, competence, and performance, it is very difficult for me to accept that she missed the deadline because of a mistake or lack of knowledge.

I believe that the following Citations from an article explain a lot:

“I was even surprised when the Justice Ministry’s checks began against me (three checks in six months) when they accused me of telling the media that I had not been allowed to visit my client Nyaklyaeu for several days. I was deprived of a license on a formal occasion. For some time, I thought (it was not a naive faith, but the faith of a lawyer) that the court would figure it out because twice two is always four. However, this did not happen.”

“In practice, the decision to do my job properly for me meant a forced change of three jobs. They demanded that I did not disclose unprecedented violations of the law in relation to clients and to stop actively defending their rights. When I was forbidden to leave the territory of Belarus because of “evading draft measures,” the lawyer community, in spite of my calls to protect me from illegal pressure, took no action. They repeatedly made it clear to me that at least I would not be allowed to continue the practice of law. Therefore, I was forced to consider the option of continuing my studies.”

Persecution of Lawyers in Belarus after the 2020 Elections

Nicolaos AA Cheropoulos
Father of Anthoula and Alexandra
Stockholm, June 2018
Reviewed Oct. 2023
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