Prosecutor’s office refuses to inform Zinaida Hanchar on investigation of kidnap of her husband

2009 2009-05-15T20:37:32+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Zinaida Hanchar, whose husband, opposition politician Viktar Hanchar was kidnapped in September 1999, has been trying to receive information from the prosecutor’s office about preliminary results of the investigation of the case of disappearance of her husband. The prosecutor’s office ignores all requests by her.

In the beginning of the year, Hanchar said she had received a notice from the Minsk prosecutor’s office saying investigation of her husband’s case had been extended till 24 March 2009, and it would be carried out by junior counselor of justice Yury Varauka, a major case investigator. The woman asked the new investigator for a meeting: being a victim in the criminal case of her husband disappearance, she has the right to be informed about taken decisions that affect her right and interests, and receive copies of these decisions.

‘He is the forth investigator for 10 years of investigation. I lost count of notices on extension investigation of my husband’s case. The phrase ‘You’ll get additional information about results of the investigation” surprises me every time. In real fact, I receive no information. I seek for a conversation with officers of the prosecutor’s office. Varauka’s predecessor Kukharonak didn’t meet with me, though I sent him several letters asking to give me any information about preliminary results of the investigation,” Zinaida Hanchar told.

Yury Varauka also refused to meet with the woman for he thinks there are no grounds for the meeting. However, he offered to make an official motion explaining why the meeting was necessary.

After this proposal lawyer Pavel Sapelka, representative of Z. Hanchar, sent a motion to the Minsk prosecutor’s office. In the motion the lawyer asked the new investigator to give Hanchar ‘regulations on renewal and extension of terms of the preliminary investigation issued by investigators in a period of the preliminary investigation in the criminal case of disappearance of her husband Viktar Hanchar on the ground of part 4 of article 50 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the republic of Belarus.’

Investigator Varauka answered that ‘having examined the materials of the criminal case and governed by articles 136 and 137 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Belarus’, he decided to ‘dismiss the motion’. The investigator explained the motion was ‘unfounded’ and contained ‘misrepresentation of the law’.

The lawyer Pavel Sapelka, in his turn, says actions by offices of the prosecutor’s office contradict criminal procedure legislation.

‘I see obvious violations of criminal procedure legislation in actions of officer of the prosecutor’s office of all levels. They are directed so that the investigation of my husband Viktar Hanchar’s disappearance wasn’t clear to public and even to the victims,’ Pavel Sapelka notes.

Zinaida Hanchar and her lawyer are going to make a complaint to the prosecutor against actions of the investigator.

‘We plan to go through the whole procedure of appealing against this decision. A response of the prosecutor general will put a period to national appeal,’ the lawyer added.

It should be reminded that former Belarusian vice premier Viktar Hanchar and businessman Anatol Krasouski were kidnapped on 16 September 1999. Blood spots were found on the site of the incident. Medical assessors concluded it was blood of Viktar Hanchar. Investigation of this criminal case was stopped several times in spite of statements by some officials about involvement of some persons from Lukashenka’s inner circle into kidnapping opposition politicians.