Siarhei Skrabiets is behind the bars, facing criminal charges

2005 2005-05-17T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Siarhei Skrabiets, the former deputy of the Chamber of Representatives, has been behind the bars for a second day now. Siarhei Skrabiets, leader of the deputy group Republic in the Chamber of Representatives of the previous convocation, was detained on 15 May in Minsk and was immediately taken to Brest. The Brest procurator's office brought criminal action against Siarhei Skrabiets.
The criminal action brought is based on two articles of the Penal Code – preparation for a crime and bribing.
The police allegedly have evidence proving that Siarhei Skrabiets was talking an unemployed resident of Biaroza into giving a bribe of 30 thousand US dollars to the employees of the regional procurator's office and court. This money would have allegedly bought a not-guilty verdict to a resident of Halshany, Stolin District, convicted to 24 years for banditry and other crimes.
Valiery Fralou, a deputy of the Republic group in the parliament, turned my attention to a certain similarity of the case against Siarhei Skrabiets with that against Mikhail Marynich. "The authorities have ordered incarceration of public activists by using any methods available to them. This case is not the first one. What is quite peculiar is that Mikhail Marynich and I had made several trips to Moscow, and he got arrested after one of them on the following day. Skrabiets and I came back from Moscow last Saturday, and he got arrested on Sunday".
Before he was elected a deputy, Siarhei Skrabiets headed 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.
According to the information provided in the second half of 16 May by Antanina Litvinchuk, an employee of the press service of the Procurator's Office of Belarus, the ex-deputy Siarhei Skrabiets will be kept in custody. (according to Radio Liberty)