MINSK -- A Belarusian journalist known for his reports on the war in eastern Ukraine, where he was held by Russia-backed separatists in 2014, is being tried on a charge of assaulting a police officer.
Dzmitry Halko's trial began on July 10 at a court in Minsk.
Halko was arrested in April when entering Belarus from Ukraine, where he had been living for a few months.
Investigators say that Halko assaulted a police officer in December, breaking his mobile phone, when the officer came to his apartment in Minsk after neighbors complained about loud noises.
Halko denies the allegation, saying he did not assault the officer.
Halko, 38, came to the courtroom wearing a black short-sleeve shirt adorned with traditional Belarusian-Ukrainian embroidery patterns. The "vyshyvanka" has become a symbol of patriotism and resistance to Russia in Ukraine.
Halko is known for articles he wrote for a number of independent media outlets in Belarus and Ukraine.
After Russia seized control of Crimea and fomented separatism in the Donbas in 2014, Halko traveled to Ukraine and covered the conflict between Russia-backed separatists and government forces in the Donetsk and Luhansk region.
He was held for a time by the separatists and released later the same year.