A law ? Russians want CAS fair trial, Belarusians arrest CAS judge
July 11 – Belarus, a governmental supporter of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has arrested leading sports lawyer and Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) judge, Professor Aliaksandr Danilevich.
It is an arrest that could prompt sports governing bodies to reconsider their positions on Belarus where they still allow them to engage in international competitions.
Danilevich was arrested on May 20, 2022 by Belarusian police. At the end of February 2022, he co-signed a declaration calling for the immediate cessation of hostilities in Ukraine.
In March, the UEFA Executive Committee decided that “as the invasion of Ukrainian territory by the Russian army was facilitated by access from the neighboring territory of Belarus, no UEFA competition matches will be played on the territory of Belarus until further notice and no spectators should attend matches in which teams from Belarus are the hosts.
In May, UEFA decided to bar teams from Belarus and Ukraine from being drawn in future UEFA competitions with immediate effect.
The CAS issued a statement stating that to its “knowledge, the professional reputation of Professor Danilevich, who was also a member of the Disciplinary Committee of Rugby Europe, has always been beyond reproach. Therefore, it is particularly difficult to understand that pre-trial restraints in the form of detention were implemented immediately after the start of the investigation.
The CAS statement went further, saying Danilevich is being held as a political prisoner and calling for his early release and return to legal domestic and international appointments in sport.
“ICAS expresses its deepest concerns about the situation of Professor Danilevich as a political prisoner. The ICAS strongly hopes that he will soon be released in order to resume his practice as a lawyer and to continue his missions with the CAS”, indicates the press release of the CAS.
Meanwhile, Russia, which Belarus facilitated and now appears to be a partner in invading Ukraine, is hoping for a fair hearing at CAS for its national and club teams.
It seems that Russian and Belarusian respect for the law and its main defenders only applies when it is in their political favor.
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