“Have you ever wondered how much sorrow has the twenty years of your office brought to the citizens of this country?”
Liudmila Kuchura has sent her petition to Aliaksandr Lukashenka to congratulate him on the 20th anniversary of his presidency, recalling that, thanks to his “parental care”, her husband Piotr Kuchura has already served ten years for a crime he did not commit.
In 2004, Peter Kuchura was arrested over the murder of a state inspector of the Committee for the Protection of Flora and Fauna and later convicted for the crime. “All his “guilt” was that he turned out to be in the closest village to the scene of the murder, besides he himself was a hunter and they found a registered gun in his house. Naturally, his involvement in the murder was not proved. The case file suggest otherwise,” recalls the convict’s wife.
In her letter, Liudmila Kuchura says that the President knows about her husband's case, but he does not want to address it because there are many wrongfully convicted persons in Belarus. Stressing that the main achievement of Lukashenka is the “legalized terror of lawlessness”, Ms. Kuchura says that before the elections in 2015 he will once again tell us how happy is the country under his rule and his care for his people. “And I am the people, too! And as the people, I declare to you that I have never felt the happiness or your care... For almost 10 years, I have been asking you to restore of justice in the criminal case of my husband, but you have no time to look into this. A couple of times you might have tried charging your subordinates to investigate, but they showed no zeal. This is understandable, because the case involved officials of your administration, and they can’t wash dirty linen in public.”
Liudmila Kuchura also recalls that in September 2013 her husband was thrown into a punishment cell on trumped-up charges, where he was tortured with bleach. “I appealed to you, as well as to the Prosecutor General, Minister of Internal Affairs to stop the torture of my husband with the consent of the head of penal colony No. 15 in Mahiliou Siarhei Makhankou and his team. But all my complaints and subsequent appeals were forwarded to the Ministry of the Interior’s Department of Corrections, exactly where, I believe, the torture of my husband was initiated. Those under the guise of supposed checks sent their messenger to the colony, and then intensified repression...”
Enumerating a long chain of her unsuccessful appeals to the investigating authorities with a demand for a forensic examination to establish the fact of poisoning the convict with bleach, Liudmila Kuchura calls the names of those who cover the prison staff: the Department of Corrections, the Ministry of the Interior’s Mahiliou Regional Department of Corrections, the Minister of the Interior, General Prosecutor's Office, Prosecutor's Office of the Mahiliou region, the Investigative Committee of the Republic of Belarus, the Committee’s office in the Mahiliou region. “Attempts to hide the fact of poisoning my husband by the above authorities indicate that the country is ruled by mutual responsibility and the telephone law, but not the real laws,” she said.
The convict’s wife says that “the statements by citizens receive clearly selective attention at the Investigation Committee”. “When my husband and I appealed to the Investigation Committee with an application for a probe under Article 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedures to establish falsification of his criminal case, attaching the evidence, then we were refused, as in the case of poisoning. Why?”
Against the background of a large number of criminal cases in the country where “someone covers someone”, Liudmila Kuchura says it is entirely unconvincing for citizens to announce the “exposures” that happen in the country each time before the next election. “I do not understand the fact of conviction of Deputy Prosecutor General Aliaksandr Arkhipau or Deputy Chairman of the Court of Kastrychnitski district of Mahiliou Magomed Umarov. What did they do wrong? Well, the “closed” ordinary criminal cases for a fee. Is that news in our country?! I will never believe that someone from the family of the dead girl, in whose case Arkhipau was convicted, could make the President intervene by writing a complaint against his tame officials. I think there must have been some interested parties. And judge Umarov? Well, taking bribes, than there on the table was involved in some affairs with his employees. And what should he do? After all, there was plenty of free time, because there was no special need to look into the essence of cases. After all, everything was decided for money. Thus, among other things, the Court of Kastrychnitski district of Mahiliou, where Umarov was deputy chairman, without delving into the essence of the matter, with significant violations by the judge (according to a decree of the Presidium of the Mahiliou Regional Court) sent my husband for three years in prison, where he continues to be held...”
“Everything that has happened and is happening with my husband, shows that your twenty-year-old system is rotten. Courts and prosecutors, the police, and now the Investigative Committee, are hotbeds of evil. You’ve probably never wondered how much sorrow the twenty years of your office has brought to the citizens of this country. How many of our husbands and sons were sent by your judges and prosecutors to prisons on trumped-up charges? How many of them did not return back home, as they committed suicide (or were murdered?), unable to withstand the torture of your jailers or acquired diseases?” asks Liudmila Kuchura. She suggests that the President calculated how many millions – the number of those who have passed through prisons, current convicts multiplied by the number of their relatives, close friends, neighbors, colleagues, plus other people who do not believe his system – will give their vote in 2015 not for the “stability” which he constantly refers to. “Show spanking of your tame officials before the election for us, the citizens, does not mean anything. We will not respect and trust you more because of that. Because it's you who appointed them.”
Can the President Lukashenka understand the pain of wrongfully convicted, their loved ones and begin to eradicate the injustice?
Liudmila Kuchura believes that it is unlikely that she will get answers to her questions. She sent her petition on August 5, copies were also addressed to the President's national security aide and the head of the Operational and Analytical Center. The answer came only from the OAC, but it does not deal with the essence of the appeal. “They write that my complaint concerned an appeal against the judgment in the case of my husband and illegal actions of law enforcement officers and the court... And further it is reported that the complaint was not considered, since the OAC is not authorized to conduct investigations and make decisions on the validity of the court rulings,” says Liudmila Kuchura. “But, firstly, I did not ask to protest, and, secondly, the OAC is endowed with greater powers, it may investigate cases and such examples are plenty. But as for the case of my husband, there is nothing they can do. And it proves once again that there are high officials of our country behind this case.”
Administration of the President, as she believes, will as usual say nothing in response to her appeal. She only has to wait for responses from the General Prosecutor's Office and the Investigative Committee, where the convict's wife sent appeals on August 20, but admits that she does not expect to learn anything essential from the answers.