In Belarus, the arrests of applicants for a post of the head of state
Less than two months before the presidential elections situation in Belarus is heating up - on the eve of the case in respect of BGB arrested one of the contenders for the presidency of the Republic, the former banker Victor Babariko, which, according to observers, has every chance to compete with the permanent Alyaksandr Lukashenka. Lukashenka claims that the authorities were able to "frustrate an ambitious plan" to destabilize the Republic, denounced the "puppeteers" who sit outside of Belarus.
The state control Committee of Belarus "puppeteers" in the BGB called "the big bosses in "Gazprom" and maybe above", which, according to the head of the Committee Ivan Tertile fear that the Belarusian side initiated an investigation will lead them. In the Kremlin all charges, both direct and indirect, rejected as unfounded and stated that Moscow was not going and is not going to interfere in the internal Affairs of Belarus.
In addition bobariko were arrested Sergei tikhanovski, whose wife is running for President, another opposition candidate Yury Hubarevich has received 15 days of administrative arrest, but remains on the loose.
Today in Belarus the last day when candidates for the highest office collecting signatures for his nomination candidates. Babariko previously announced that, as Lukashenko has already collected the necessary 100 thousand signatures. From 20 June to 4 July inclusive contenders for the presidency is entitled to submit documents to CEC for the registration of candidates, the registration itself will take place from 5 to 14 July inclusive.
The scandal of the BGB broke out last week. The Department of firesleeve of the state control Committee of Belarus opened a criminal case on articles about the tax evasion and money laundering obtained by criminal means, in the case searches were held in the main building of Belagroprombank in Minsk. As suspects in a criminal case are representatives of commercial structures, as well as former and current employees of the banking system.
He Babariko, who led the BGB for 20 years, said that the actions of the authorities of the Republic in respect of the Bank "are registered political nature", and international and internal audits conducted earlier, revealed no irregularities that could lead to searches and criminal proceedings. The state control Committee of Belarus earlier said that you have "evidence" of the involvement of Babariko to illegal activities and criminal cases against top managers of Belagroprombank and the presidential elections in the Republic on which stands the former head of the Bank, are not connected.
On Thursday, Babariko was detained, according to the Committee of state control, due to the fact that he was the "organizer, leader, illegal activities, attempted to influence witnesses, to hide the traces of earlier committed crimes and just recently to remove a large sum of money from accounts controlled by him". As noted in the Department, including investigated the illegal withdrawal of more than 430 million dollars over several years from the account of BGB in the Bank in Latvia-ABLV.
In this case, the first Babariko not allowed his lawyers, in this connection, the defence filed a complaint with the Prosecutor General's office. Only in criminal cases related to BGB detained about 20 people, including its top executives, many are cooperating with the investigation and testify against Babariko as the organizer of the criminal scheme.
In addition, previously detained member of the initiative group of Babariko and family friend Svetlana kupreyeva. In the headquarters of Babariko said that kupreeva never worked neither the BGB nor in "Privatising", "Campari", "centaur" and others associated with the criminal case of the Bank.
The case was seized more than $ 4 million and securities of more than 500 thousand dollars. The national Bank of Belarus imposed a temporary administration Belgazprombank. Belgazprombank has been operating in Belarus since 1990. "Gazprom" and "Gazprombank" owns 49.8% of the shares of the Bank.
The arrest of Babariko and his son caused a wave of criticism both in Belarus and abroad. The EU has called on Minsk to immediately release policy and to ensure the full respect of the rule of law, including fair and transparent investigation and the right to access to a lawyer. The EU statement notes that in the context of the upcoming presidential elections Brussels urged the Belarusian authorities to ensure a competitive political contest.
"No potential candidate should not be deprived of the opportunity to complete the registration process because of the politically motivated restrictive measures", - stated in the EU. Belarusian human rights activists recognized Babariko and his son a political prisoner.
But Babariko was not the only Belarusian opposition politician who was imprisoned. Last week, video blogger Sergei tikhanovski, whose wife Svetlana put forward as a presidential candidate, was arrested in a criminal case due to a scuffle with police officers during one of their pickets in Hrodna in support of the nomination of Svetlana. Tikhanovski and his supporters have been indicted on criminal charges of "organizing and preparing the actions that breach public order", and the actions of one of the detainees is additionally qualified under article "violence against employees of internal Affairs bodies". All of the detainees still remain in custody. In addition, Tikhanovski wife recently complained that she received threats for participating in the election campaign.
On Friday it became known that the Chairman of the opposition movement "For Freedom" Yury Hubarevich, who is also running for President of Belarus, was sentenced to 15 days of administrative arrest, but remains on the loose. Not registered by the authorities human rights center "Viasna" said that blame policy was charged with violation of order of holding mass events, namely, participation in an unauthorized rally on the ground near the Kamarouski market in Minsk, was not related to the picket to collect signatures. Hubarevich pleaded not guilty, claiming that he had been collecting signatures in support of his nomination as a presidential candidate in accordance with the Belarusian legislation.
The former head of the HTP administration Valery Tsepkalo, who is also vying for the presidency of Belarus and, according to experts, is one of the three most powerful alternative Lukashenko candidates, said in an interview with RIA Novosti that continues to participate in the presidential race, trying not to think about the danger to himself.
"I just move in this political process, not allow any violations of the act in strict compliance with the Belarusian legislation. Are there any concerns? On this account I do not think," he told RIA Novosti, responding to a question about the presence of fear for himself during the presidential race.
The detention of Babariko he condemned, saying that the situation with the criminal case need to be solved in a civilized manner. "It is clear that he will not run away, he is not a threat to society, he didn't kill anyone. If you have any questions for him, let him, continuing to engage in their activities, giving evidence (the investigators – ed.) in the presence of lawyers. Why detain him or any other businessman for economic crimes?" - said Tsepkalo. According to him, if the state of activity of the businessman have caused some damage, "their government will always take: underpaid taxes, it is proven - let them pay their fines, the next time will be to pay taxes".