On 15 May police detained the former deputy Siarhei Skrabiets
The former deputy assistant Siarhei Halahaniuk told the Liberty radio. The detention occurred outside Skrabiets's apartment in the Uruccha borough of Minsk, from where he was taken to a temporary detention center in Brest.
According to Siarhei Halahaniuk, the former deputy managed to make a phone call right after he was detained. The people who detained Siarhei Skrabiets introduced themselves as officers of the organized crime department: "At around 10 o'clock in the morning he left home for the swimming pool. And got detained on the way. They must have been waiting for him outside the house entrance, they might have called the house phone that was off in his place. Skrabiets asked why he was being detained. He was told he was suspected of planning to give a bribery of 30 thousand dollars. Planning? Anyone could be detained for that reason. This is absolutely crazy. They have nothing against him…"
Siarhei Skrabiets also managed to say that he was being taken to Brest for interrogations, because the department officers charge him with planning to bribe some official in Brest.
An hour after Siarhei Skrabiets was detained, his apartment and his parents' apartment were searched. Mr. Skrabiets's wife Aliaxandra told me about that: "They searched the parents' place and our place. They were looking for some documents that I know nothing about, documents relating to some affair in Brest, where Siarhei had been planning to bribe someone. His old documents, letters were confiscated… My father had an archive – paper clippings, and some other materials about Siarhei – so they rummaged through them and took away selected items. The same happened at our place. They took away his notebook".
According to the ex-deputy's wife, "the searches were performed by the officers of the Minsk-based organized crime department. They had been authorized to perform the search by a sanction from Brest". Siarhei Skrabiets also had enough time to tell the wife that Andrei Livanau, an investigator for particularly important cases, will be interrogating him in Brest. So far official sources have not disclosed any information relating to Siarhei Skrabiets's case.
In the Chamber of Representatives of the previous convocation, Mr. Skrabiets headed the deputy groupd Respublika. Before he was elected a deputy, he was head of the Trading Mall BelBabaieuski. Mr. Skrabiets was accused of illegally receiving state credits. In October last year he appealed to the president of Russia, asking for political asylum. But he got no positive response.
In a news program shown in April the Belarusian television said that law enforcement officers detained a courier who was bringing from Vilnius 200 thousand dollars for the political activity of Siarhei Skrabiets.