Skrabets’ Property Distrained
On March 14 property of a former deputy Siarhei Skrabets was distrained for satisfaction of debt to Belarusbank. Under the verdict of the Supreme court, Siarhei Skrabets is to pay 1.5 billion rubles (about $700,000) which have allegedly been defrauded by him from the state while he was a deputy.
An officer of the court Aliaksandra Shumeika has distrained a car Audi-80 made in 1988, carpets. A TV-set, souvenirs, a refrigerator, an electric hot plate, even a broken washing machine. By paying $20 each month, Siarhei Skrabets would be able to pay off the debt in 300 years, Pahonia has estimated. The politician hasn’t managed to find job yet.
Siarhei Skrabets was charged with helping defraud a state bank of credits and on 14 February 2006 sentenced to 2.5 years of imprisonment. The politician hadn’t pleaded guilty. As said by most observers, the prosecution of Siarhei Skrabets is politically motivated. He took part in the hunger strike of the Respublika deputies, who demanded democratization of the Electoral Code, and release of one of the Belarusian opposition leaders, Mikhail Marynich. They also protested against referendum for canceling limits for a number of presidential terms. He was one of the organizers of the rally timed to the end of the 10-year presidency of Lukashenka.
In October he was amnestied and the term of detention was cut down by one year. On 15 November 2006 he was released.