The petitions filed by the former deputy Siarhei Skrabiets regarding temporary release during the presidential campaign were rejected
In the trial over Siarhei Skrabiets, now conducted in the Supreme Court, the judge continues to reject the petitions of the former deputy, requesting temporary release during the presidential campaign, reported Radio Liberty.
“I cannot control the initiative group that is collecting signatures for me, as are the other pretenders”, argues Siarhei Skrabiets, however these arguments did not convince the judge.
The political prisoner still refuses to take part in the proceedings underway in the Supreme Court since 16 January. The former deputy and his brother Aliaxandr Skrabiets face several charges, one of which is a grave one. The witnesses that gave evidence on 19 January included Raman Ryukin, the former assistant to the deputy Siarhei Skrabiets and the general manager of Beltradeexpo. This firm had close partnership relations with the trading house Belbabaeuskaie, first headed by Siarhei Skrabiets and then his brother Aliaxandr. Two years ago Raman Ryukin was convicted for swindling Belarusbank out of credits for Beltradeexpo. He still believes that he was innocent and received the credit in full compliance with the law, and the case against him was falsified, and the same is being done to Siarhei Skrabiets. This is what Raman Ryukin told Radio Liberty: “In the office they took away all documents, the seal, the accounts, seized the property, and deprived me of fulfilling my duties as the general manager. Then they waited three months, and the firm did not return the credit and said that because the credit had not been paid out they would charge me with swindling the bank out of the credit. And they also attempted to accuse me of theft, using no grounds at all. And this trial is conducted largely to the same scenario”.
The witness Raman Ryukin produced several documents in court, which, in his opinion, confirmed the firm’s intention to pay out the credits to Belarusbank in full. Meanwhile, while questioning the witness, the procurator's office representative Maryna Asipchyk repeatedly called on Mr. Ryukin to be honest and often noted that he was evading her questions. The judge asked Raman Ryukin why he had not protested against the verdict if he believes he was not guilty. The witness said that he spent 25 months in the detention center, and after the verdict he was released right away. The answer provided by the evidence made it clear that if he had protested against the verdict, he would still be in prison.
Now Siarhei Skrabiets is on hunger-strike, protesting against his arrest. He argues that he is being persecuted for his opposition activities and intention to run for presidency.