Aliaxandr Tsynkievich, who ran for the parliament as a UCP member, now faces criminal charges of willfully libeling the president according to part 2 of Article 367 of the Criminal Code of Belarus.
On 1 February Mr. Khadatovich, the procurator of Central Borough of Minsk had examined the materials received from the Central Commission of the Republic of Belarus for Elections and National Referenda and instituted proceedings to investigate the libel on the president. The information concerned the content of campaigning flyers distributed by the candidates.
On 24 February Mr. Tsynkievich was summonsed to the procurator’s office by the investigator A.A.Mikalayeu, who attempted to interrogate him as a “witness”. The problem is that the witness, unlike a defendant, cannot refuse to testify. Mr. Tsynkievich was warned by the investigator to that effect. However, Mr. Tsynkievich refused to answer the investigator’s questions in accordance with Article 27 of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, which provides for the right not to give evidence against oneself.
Mr. Tsynkievich does not rule out that he will be indicted in this criminal case as either defendant or accused.