Другие материалы рубрики «English»
- Opposition activist Vasil Parfyankow fined again for coming home too late
A district judge in Minsk on Friday sentenced prominent opposition activist Vasil Parfyankow to a fine of three million rubels ($346)...
- Education minister expresses concern over student mobility programs
There are both upsides and downsides of Belarus' involvement in student mobility programs in the framework of the Bologna Process, Education Minister Syarhey Maskevich said...
- Belarusian ambassador meets with vice president of France-Belarus friendship group in French parliament
- Belarus to invest in two engineering companies in Serbia
- Delegation of Indian parliament to visit Belarus next week
- Two opposition activists in Vitsyebsk fined for displaying signs against nuclear power plant project
- Homyel region set to increase trade with Ukraine
- Belarus has to achieve more to draw closer to rich countries, Foreign Minister Makey says
- Swedish rights defenders demonstrate against world hockey championship in Belarus
- Paval Sevyarynets uses leave of absence from correctional facility to take part in Bible copying campaign
- In pictures: Students, faculty of Belarusian State University commemorate Great Patriotic War veterans
- Days of Lithuanian Culture in Belarus opens in Minsk
OSCE office says that it invited German expert to examine Awtukhovich case
The OSCE Office in Minsk said on Friday that it had invited German law expert Martin Fincke to examine a criminal case against three Vawkavysk dissidents at the request of the Belarusian foreign ministry.
“The task of the expert was to impartially and objectively assess the case in order to identify indicators of possible human rights violations or criminal procedure misuse,” Hans-Jochen Schmidt, head of the Office, said in a statement.
“The OSCE Office in Minsk proposed Dr. Martin Finke as an internationally renowned senior legal expert in criminal law and criminal procedure with longstanding research and lecturing experience and a special focus on Eastern European as well as Russian law,” the statement said.
Dr. Fincke, a professor at Germany’s University of Passau, stayed in Minsk in June to give a professional opinion about the case. A report drawn up by Dr. Fincke describes the months-long detention of Mikalay Awtukhovich, Yury Lyavonaw and Uladzimir Asipenka as legal and denies any political motives behind the controversial case. It has been distributed among members of the European Parliament and European Union officials.
In an interview with BelaPAN on Thursday, the expert said that his conclusions were based on the opinion of law enforcement officials involved in the investigation and the case materials. He acknowledged that he had not read all of the case files, which he said contain “tens of thousands of pages.” “But I saw everything that I wanted to see,” he added.
Dr. Fincke denied accusations of bias, noting that he had never worked with the Belarusian government before but cooperated with the OSCE “on projects in a variety of countries.”
Mr. Awtukhovich’s defense counsel, Pavel Sapelka, condemned the examination of the case by the German expert as “flagrant lawlessness.” He said that Dr. Fincke had not met either with him or his client.
The criminal case against the dissidents is widely viewed as the Belarusian government’s revenge for their political stance. However, Amnesty International and Belarusian human rights defenders have not declared their detention politically motivated because too little information is available about the case.
Messrs. Awtukhovich, Lyavonaw and Asipenka were apprehended in armed raids in their hometown of Vawkavysk, Hrodna region, on February 8. Police said that they were suspected of perpetrating a series of arsons and explosions targeting the property of local officials and of illegal possession of explosives and firearms.
On February 18, they were formally charged with “deliberate destruction of or damage to property caused in a way dangerous to the public or the intentional infliction of large-scale damage.”
In June, Mr. Awtukhovich was declared a suspect in a case against a certain Laryn, who was accused of possession of a grenade launcher and a homemade explosive device.
The interior ministry announced last week that on June 23, Mr. Awtukhovich was charged with making preparations a few years ago for murdering Uladzimir Sawchanka, chairman of the Hrodna Regional Executive Committee, and Deputy Tax Minister Vasil Kamyanko.