Investigation in case of human rights defender Mikhail Zhamchyzhny extended until April 19
Mikhail Zhamchyzhny, a co-founder of the human rights organization “Platform Innovation” has been held in the Vitsebsk pre-trial prison. He faces a number of charges. The activist has written several letters to Tatsiana Seviarynets, coordinator of the BCD’s organizing committee. According to her, the investigation has been extended until April 19.
“Earlier, Mikhail wrote that his trial was likely to begin in January. However, in the last letter he wrote that the Prosecutor General had extended the investigation until April 19. Accordingly, the court will not be held by May, or even in June. There is no other information in the letter, except that the administration often takes his letters to freedom, and he has to sign for it in the relevant documents. Also, Mikhail Zhamchyzhny writes that he was able to send an open letter to the President through the Narodnaya Volia newspaper, but he knows nothing about the future of this letter,” says Ms. Seviarynets.
The arrest of Mikhail Zhamchyzhny was reported last August by the website of the information and education institution “Platform Innovation”.
“Former Associate Professor at the Vistebsk Technological University, inventor, Ph.D., author of several monographs and developments, was arrested shortly after the trial of Platform Innovation’s director Andrei Bandarenka. However, the fact became known only after a few months, in late October. Platform Innovation received this information from Bandarenka himself. He allegedly said that he (Bandarenka) was visited in the Valadarka prison by guests from the Vitsebsk investigative committee or the KGB. The lawyer, who was contacted by Platform’s defenders, refused to explain the details of the case, referring to a subscription of nondisclosure,” Radio Liberty reports. “Mikhail Zhamchyzhny is charged with several very serious articles of the Criminal Code – Art. 376 (Part 1, Part 2), Art. 375 (Part 1), Art. 431 (Part 1, Part 2). This is intentional disclosure of official secrets, illegal purchase (manufacturing) of means for the secret acquisition of information, as well as bribery.”
Mikhail Zhamchyzhny has been convicted before: from 2007 to 2012, he was serving a sentence in an economic case opened against him while working in the Vitsebsk Technological University. After his release he contacted the activists of Platform and expressed a desire to cooperate with them.
It is possible that the trial of Mikhail Zhamchyzhny may be held behind closed doors, taking into account the specifics of the charges.