Miklashevich Proposes to Humanize Legislation
On January 16th Belarusian Prosecutor General Piotr Miklashevich answered the questions of journalists about the celebrated criminal cases and the work of the Prosecutor’s General Office in 2007.
The criminal case against the former director of Belnaftakhim Company Alexander Barouski will be considered by the Supreme Court in the beginning of February. The trial will be open for public. Barouski is prosecuted under these charges: “Stealing with abuse of office” (Article 210), and “misfeasance” (Article 424). Besides that, investigation against Barouski is carried out under Article 375 “breach of professional secrecy”. At the same time, Barouski failed to compensate the losses to the state that he incurred when he occupied the post of Belnaftakhim director.
The situation around Toyota Center is a little different. They paid back the financial damage to the state, which were equal to 7 billion BYR. They are charged with avoiding payment of a duty for importing about 300 cars into the country. Piotr Miklashevich said the accused had addressed Alexander Lukashenka asking to relieve them from criminal responsibility. They are still waiting for response. Investigation of the case is over, the accused read through the materials.
The last celebrated criminal case mentioned by the Prosecutor General is against Viktar Meliashkevich, director of Minskgaz state company. Meliashkevich is charged with receiving a bribe and misuse of authority. According to the Prosecutor General, Meliashkevich took bribes for “solving issues within his competence”.
KGB continues to investigate the criminal case about the death of Belarusian pilots in Somali. It is already clear that it was a terrorist act, but the police forces fail to find the executors. Belarusian special services rely on the help of the Americans who allegedly have a video of the location made from the satellite.
The prosecutor’s office continues to investigate the cases of disappearance of the famous politicians and a journalist, but they had no new information to share. As for the letters of Valer Ihnatovich to Lukashenka with the request to review his case, the Prosecutor General is convinced: there is nothing that could make them doubt the verdict.
Piotr Miklashevich informed, materials of the 3rd stage of investigation against Marozau’s gang had been sent submitted to court. At the same time, the prosecutor’s office has some problems with extradition of the criminals to Belarus. Some individuals involved in Marozau’s case can not be extradited to Belarus because they asked for Russian citizenship.
The Office of the Prosecutor General, together with the Supreme Court, worked out a draft law aimed at “humanization” of the Criminal Code. Now the results of their work are sent to the President’s Office. According to Miklashevich, the draft law envisages more adequate approach to penalty measures. Miklashevich informs more than 90 % of crimes in Belarus do not present any significant public danger. That is why they propose wider usage of economic sanctions, instead of imprisonment. At present Belarusian prisons hold about 30 thousand people.
Prosecutor’s General office created a database of crimes and infringements committed by citizens. Information from the database can be used only by employees of the bodies that investigate certain cases. According to Miklashevich, they have a register of administrative infringements on 1.2 million people.
In the end of the news conference Piotr Miklashevich refuted the rumors that he wrote a report to Lukashenka asking to relieve him of his post in the end of the year. “This is not true”, the Prosecutor General said.