Minsk Tsentralny Borough Court Grants Parole to Political Prisoner Mikhail Marynich
On 12 April in Minsk prison UZh 15/1 there took place the ambulatory sitting of Minsk Tsentralny Borough Court. At this sitting it was decided to grant parole to the political prisoner Mikhail Marynich, former minister of Foreign Economic Relations and extraordinary ambassador.
On 30 December 2004 Minsk District Court found Mr Marynich guilty of theft of the computers that the US Embassy had given for temporary use to the public organization Business Initiative which he headed. The Embassy submitted a letter to the court, indicating it had no pretensions to Mr Marynich and considered the accusations against him groundless. The court ignored the letter and sentenced Marynich to five years in high-security prison with confiscation of property. The politician hasn’t taken the blame and stated this verdict had obvious political motivation.
On 18 February 2005 the term of imprisonment was reduced to 3,5 years. Marynich’s lawyers continued to insist on parole to Marynich for several reasons. Firstly, he has already served more than a half of his term without violations of the prison discipline. Secondly, during the imprisonment he has become a pensioner and a disabled (he had a stroke and a severe eye disease). However, the consideration of this petition was delayed for several times. According to the information received by Marynich’s relatives, it was connected with the secret order not to release him from jail before the end of the presidential election. The election is already over. The prison administration has already signed the necessary documents and soon Mikhail Marynich can be released.