YURY KORBAN, 24-YEAR-OLD VITEBSK ACTIVIST, MISSING FOR ONE YEAR.
On 19 January 2003 it will be one year since Yury Korban has been missing. Korban, head of youth organization "Kontur", vice-chairperson of Vitebsk city branch of Belarusian Popular Front Party, is searched for by Financial Investigation Department of Vitebsk region Committee for State Control.
Korban's disappearance leaves a lot of unanswered questions. On 19 January 2002 Yury Korban, born in 1978, head of youth organization "Kontur", vice-chairperson of Vitebsk city branch of Belarusian Popular Front Party was in Vitebsk, Lakamatywnaya Street, 7/4 flat #56. About 9 p.m. he called home and told his mother he would be home about 11 p.m. But he never came home. His mother made numerous telephone calls to the apartment both in the evening and the next morning, but nobody answered the phone.
The flat is under police protection service. In case the alarm goes off, the security service comes to the place, but should not walk into the flat without the owners.
On 20 January Korban's parents, having failed to reach Yury, came to Lakamatywnaya Street, but found nobody there. However, they found the police report that the alarm went off 2 times; at 3 at night and at 7 in the morning. On the question why the security service entered the flat, the police replied that they had a new employee, who didn't know all instructions. There were no signs of disorder in the flat, nothing was missing.
On 24 January Nina Korban reported about her son's disappearance to Chyhunachny police board of Vitebsk.
On 12 February Chyhunachny borough prosecutor's office launched proceedings to search for missing Yury Korban. Immediately Vitebsk region prosecutor takes the case under control and asks the borough prosecutor's office to inform him about the results (letter19р-2002 of 04.03.2002 ). On 27 March deputy prosecutor of Chyhunachny borough M. Fedarenka informed Korban's mother that the case was taken over by Chyhunachny borough Board of Investigation Committee.
On 16 April Chyhunachny borough Board of Investigation Committee investigator A. Kharytanovich told Nina Korban that the criminal proceedings launched on 12 February 2002 were suspended on 12 April under Art. 246 par 1 of the Code of Criminal Proceedings, because the term of prior investigation was over. Nina Korban appealed against his ruling and the proceedings were resumed, with the term for additional investigation until 26 May 2002.
The police searched for Korban as a missing person from 3 February to 21 March. Then Vitebsk region prosecutor's office and Vitebsk region board of internal affairs stopped the search of the missing person because Korban was announced for retrieval by Financial Investigation Department of Committee for State Control as charged under Art 243 par 1 of the Criminal Code, who evaded investigation.
The mother again complained that the police investigation did not take appropriate measures to search for Yury. Investigator Kharytanovich replied on 27 May, that the search had been suspended again on 26 May under Art 246 par 1.6 because there were no results of the search.
When Nina Korban filed another complaint, the Board of Investigation Committee studied the case, the proceedings on which were suspended by investigator Kharytanovich on 26 May. The head of the Board replied, that he had ruled to resume the prior investigation, conducting appropriate investigative actions and field measures. The search for Yury Korban continues in the frames of the new criminal case. Korban's family and friends still hope to see him alive.
Vitebsk regional branch of the Human Rights Center "Viasna"