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Zinaida Hanchar: "When people cover up criminals, it tells a lot of them. It's time Russia thought better of it"

2005 2005-05-20T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Radio Liberty
Russia's Procurator's Office sent a letter to Zinaida Hanchar, the wife of the politician Viktar Hanchar who disappeared six years ago. The letter says that if there is a need for legal assistance on the territory of another country, the Procurator's office of Minsk may make a corresponding appeal.
About two months ago Zinaida Hanchar appealed to the FSB of Russia, asking for assisting the investigation into the political disappearances in Belarus. She asked if the reasons why Valiery Ihnatovich was detained in Russia could possibly be disclosed. The special service officer was convicted on charges of kidnapping the ORT cameraman Dmitry Zavadzki. Zinaida Hanchar asked the FSB chief if he could disclose the information received from Ihnatovich regarding the disappearance of citizens of Belarus. Whether the information concerned the abduction of Viktar Hanchar and what materials were handed over to the fact-finding agencies of Belarus.
The response to this letter was provided by the procurator's office of Russia. The response says that Zinaida Hanchar's letter to the FSB chief has been handed over to the general procurator's office of Russia. "As can be understood from you appeal, your husband was kidnapped on the territory of the Republic of Belarus, and the case of his abduction is being investigated by the procurator's office of Minsk. If legal assistance on the territory of another country is needed, the procurator's office of Minsk may make an appropriate petition", said the procurator's office of Russia.
The press-secretary of the General Procurator's Office of Belarus Iury Azaronak refused to say whether the Belarusian side has made any petitions to the Russian office about legal assistance. According to him, these are procedural issues whose publication may hinder the investigation.
(Azaronak: ) "Well, for the time being I cannot disclose any information because information regarding the cases conducted is provided only after it has been agreed with the investigator".
Correspondent: ) "Could you have it agreed with the investigator and tell me?
(Azaronak: ) "No, I can't, because I have talked with him and he is not ready to disclose any information to the press".
Zinaida Hanchar argues that the procurator's office of Belarus will not appeal to Russia, which it has never done before. At the same time she is surprised at the Russian position.
(Hanchar: ) "Of course, I do not have any particular hopes, but the position of Russia should be understandable to us. Russia has received many requests, demands requiring the unraveling of these crimes, and help with other political problems of the country. So far, Russia has chosen not to be involved. Unlike West, this country is just making some formal excuses and that's it. "When people cover up criminals by making such excuses, it tells a lot of them. It's time Russia thought better of it".

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