Political activist challenges actions of tax inspectorate
Homel activist Yury Klimovich filed a lawsuit with the Tsentralny District Court of Homelagainst the decision of the district inspection of taxes and dues. He asks the court to recognize the claims to a private enterprise "Bel-Ost", which he founded and headed, unfounded and annul the decision of the tax inspectorate.
Let us remind that in September 2014 the former coordinator of the organizing committee of the party "Belarusian Christian Democracy" Yury Klimovich learned that he needed to pay 142 million rubles to the state. As it turned out, the tax authorities carried out an inspection of the company, which was founded and headed by the activist ten years ago, and allegedly found some faults with it. On the basis of a print out of bank documents for 2003 the inspectorate concluded that Yurywas guilty of tax evasion. He was accused of having not paid 16 million rubles of taxes. A fine of 120 million rubles was and a state fee of 6 million rubles were imposed on him for the ten years during which the tax remained unpaid. Thus, at present he ows to the state 142 million rubles.
Mr. Klimovich believes that these claims are put forward because of his political activities, since during the previous years there were no claims either to him or to his enterprise. He tried to run for the local council in 2010, and then was an electioneering agent of presidential candidate Vital Rymasheuski. “That's why they began looking for something against me. Three hearings of the Economic Court took part without my participation. As it was explained at court, they were sending writs to me on the address at which I didn't live for 14 years already! Meanwhile, I didn't hide from anyone, I live in the place of registration and have telephone registered in my name," says the activist.
In the early 2000s he was director of the private industrial-commercial unitary enterprise "Bel-Ost". In 2004 the company stopped its activities - employees were dismissed, as well as the director himself. And now the problems have begun.
January 13,a preliminary hearing on the civil case was held at the Tsentralny District Court. The question who Yury Klimovich was and whether he had the right to sue the tax inspectorate was considered, as he was no longer a legal body.
"As it turns out at the trial, I am the defendant and mustpay 142 million rubles to the state by the decision of the tax inspectorate. At the same time, I do not have legal grounds to somehow appeal that amount! It all depends on some influences outside the court. I had an impression that judges aren't free in their decisions and the court decision will correspond to a decision taken in certain circles.
The enterprise “Bel-Ost” ceased to exist on November 3, 2004. I didn't know about it, they didn't even inform me. There is no enterprise, I don't represent a legal body – as it was said at court, but nevertheless I need to pay and cannot challenge this decision. It all comes down to some legal casuistry. The case was lasting for a year. At first I am excluded from the management of my own enterprise. Then a crisis manager is appointed, who signs all documents and recognizes all claims of the state bodies and then sues me personally. Now, when I file a lawsuit against the tax inspectorate, I am asked what I am,” commented Mr. Klimovich.
Human rights activist Ales Yauseyenka says: “If Yury Klimovich has nothing to do with this case, why is 142 million rubles demanded from him? It seems to be an ordered case. The enterprise ceased to exist ten years ago, but claims to it are presented only now. Does it mean that economic claims to opposition activists have no time limitations? Usually such civil claims three-year term, whereas ten years passed in this case."
The next hearing was scheduled for February 2.