Andrei Bastunets was questioned concerning 4 July blast

2008 2008-09-09T21:04:38+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en

The deputy head of the Belarusian association of Journalists, lawyer Andrei Bastunets was questioned concerning the explosion that had taken place on 4 July in Minsk. On 7 August he received a telephone call from Leninski police department of Minsk and invited to come and answer some questions concerning the explosion. Mr. Bastunets did not insist on receiving a summons and came to the police on 8 September at the specified time.

‘Our conversation was quite short,’ says Bastunets. ‘I answered where I was on the day of the explosion and policemen filled the questionnaire in accordance with my answers. By the way, when I asked to be shown the questionnaire, I found that it was entitled ‘Questionnaire for the persons who were drawn to criminal responsibility, or had military specialization or were registered at narcologic dispenser’. I said that I did not belong to any of these categories. Then, after a short debate, the police officers crossed this part of the title out of the questionnaire.’

Andrei Bastunets refused to give his fingerprints. He explained that according to the criminal-process legislation he did not have to do it and it was up to him to decide, as no criminal proceedings were brought against him.

Bear in mind that police and KGB officers have already questioned concerning the blast the journalists for a non-state small-circulation newspaper Volny Horad Mikalai Herdziy, Siarhei Niarouny and the founder of the newspaper Uladzimir Kudrautsau. Searches were performed in the apartments of a member of the BAJ Nina Shydouskaya and in the place of residence registration of Mikhail Sharamet (husband to a member of the BAJ council Aliona Sharamet). In addition, Mikhail Sharamet was detained in the KGB isolator for three days. According to the information of Radio Racyja, in July the officers of law-enforcement agencies also questioned Siarhei Arzhantsau and Siamion Panizoutsau, journalist from Klichau and Cherykau. According to Narodnaya Volia¸ fingerprints and saliva samples were taken from the editor of the Antenna newspaper Siarhei Malinouski.