| POLITICS |
Prosecutor’s Office Leaves Mikhail Lyavonau Without Attorney
Baghdad Develops Nukes Reports German Intelligence
The public prosecutor’s office makes attempts to dismiss the attorney Mikalai Shalima from the defense of the former director of the Minsk Tractor-Building Plant (MTZ) Mikhail Lyavonau. The day before, the attorney was prohibited to meet with his client, on the pretext that the General Public Prosecutor’s Office had issued a document recalling him from the position of the attorney. Mikalai Shalima states that if Mikhaiul Lyavonau would agree to that, he will withdraw from the case, if not, -- he will ask the investigators to account for his dismissal as a lawyer of the former MTZ director. “It is the defendant’s choice who should be his attorney”,
-- Shaloma said. The Public Prosecutor’s Office of Belarus could not explain the situation for the press. As said by the head of the press-center Alyaxei Taranau, there have been no official comments on the matter still.
But Sold Arms to Al Qaeda Ahead Sept.11 Says Washington Post
Iraq is working on the creation of another nuclear program. According to the experts from the Federal German reconnaissance (BND), it will take the Iraqi nuclear specialists from three to five years to reach the level of 1990. At present, the intensive restoration works are being held at the Al-Kaim object. Moreover, Iraq is purchasing the components, relating to the nuclear missiles and is developing the biological weaponry. No evidence of the new research in the area of chemical weapons are being cited by German intelligence. Materials from the secret BND files are cited by the German newspaper Berliner Zeitung, which, in its turn, refers to another edition - Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.
Moldovan Opposition Set to Struggle Until the Government of the Country Overturned
American and European detectives interrogated the detained Belgian national Sanjivan Rupra, suspected of implication in the network, run by the Russian Viktor But, who supplies weaponry to the terrorist organizations, reports on Tuesday the US newspaper “The Washington Post”. Referring to the special UN reports, the newspaper writes that Rupra declared that But supplied weaponry to the Al Qaeda guerillas ahead of the September 11 terrorist strike at America. Rupra himself was one of the organizers of the illegal network. Previously the detectives believed that But’s arms supplies to Taliban occurred in the past. The investigators also managed to learn that the network, guided by former Soviet officer, shipped weapons to the guerillas from the terrorist group “Abu Sayaf”, operating in the Philippines. The paper writes that But is able to consign the most advanced military technologies worldwide, breaking the embargo on arms sales.
Ukrainians Must Unite into European Nation Says Yuschenko
The Supreme Court of Justice of Moldova found illegal the protest actions that are taking place in Chisinau. This ruling was pronounced late in the evening on Monday, February 25, after a long-lasting sitting of the highest court of the republic, Interfax-Ukraine informs.
“Nasha Ukraina” Bloc Set to Win Majority in Western Ukraine
Ukrainian citizens, if they truly “want to get above their circumstances and become a European nation, must be united and do not separate from one another in faith, tongue or residence,”
– declared leader of the “Nasha Ukraina” bloc Viktor Yuschenko at the press-conference in Severodonetsk of the Lugansk region. The UNIAN correspondent quotes Yuschenko as saying: “Our program’s complexity is in how we can unite Lugansk residents with voters from other regions, convincing all that their views don’t differ ideologically”.
11:13, 26/02/2002, UNIAN
Administrative Resource Wide Used VS “Nasha Ukraina” Bloc
Most votes in the Western Ukraine will be cast for the “Nasha Ukraina” election bloc, said at today’s press-conference on Ivano-Frankovsk the Ukrainian popular deputy, head of the party “Reforms and order”, candidate for the deputies from the “Nasha Ukraina” bloc Viktor Pinzenik.
How a Russian Longed for Union
The state actively uses its administrative resource against Viktor Yuschenko’s bloc “Nasha Ukraina”, said during the press-conference in Lvov the leader of the Ukrainian popular movement Yuri Kostenko. UNIAN correspondent reports that according to Kostenko, in eastern regions the state servants are being threatened into ensuring the needed results at the parliamentary elections. He added that in the town of Bussk in the Lvov region they flagrantly destroyed all advertisement stands of the “Nasha Ukraina”.
Largest Vitebsk Plants Face Blackouts
A so-called union state between Russia and Belarus was and remains an abstract notion. This was made clear to the Rostov resident Sergei Kudrin, who sued the Rostov customs department over the vehicle, transported from Belarus. Belarusian woman, who sold to Kudrin in Vitebsk her “Mercedes-Benz” handed in to him the documents, according to which the car had been registered in the Belarusian customs. On June 20, 2000 Kudrin addressed the Rostov customs office with a request to issue to him a passport for the car and a permission to bring it into Russia with further registration in traffic police service. However, the customs officers refused to do so, motivating it by the necessity to register the vehicle anew.
Salaries Diminish in Size
93 companies of the Vitebsk region are switched off from electricity for their payment debts. The total size of their indebtedness before the energy suppliers of the region constitutes 127,5bln rubles. The “Vitebsk courier” reports that 854 energy consumers received electricity in limited amounts. The gravest is the situation in agriculture. Over last year alone 8 husbandries managed to fully cover their energy debts. The overwhelming majority of collective farms do not pay for electricity at all, or simply do it symbolically. So, in general, the region’s companies paid no more than 6,8% of their accumulated debt.
In Collective Farm “Iskra” Salary Paid By Coupons
According to the Ministry of statistics and analysis of Belarus, in January the salary in the country reduced from $108 to $100. The average monthly salary went down from 174 thousand rubles to 166 thousand. Taking into account inflation and price-growth, Belarusians became 10% poorer this year than before.
Pensioners Turn into Drug Dealers
In the collective farm “Iskra” of the Pruzhany district of the Brest region a salary for Decembar was partially paid in form of coupons that can be changed for goods before March, 1 in local shop. The administration of the collective farm confirmed that 30% of the salaries were given by coupons. One copy of the coupons is received by a agriculture worker, and the second is given to the shop assistant. When one comes to the shop, a shop assistant leaves a mark in a coupon of the client, and the latter leaves a signature in a coupon of the seller.
TRIAL FOR LUKASHENKA’S MASKS CONTINUES
Owing to the miserable pensions, elderly residents of the Grodno region are becoming real drug dealers. Last year alone a few dozen pensioners were held accountable for growing the poppy. Six of them were sentenced to up to 6 months of jail. The law-enforcers discovered 15 hectares of poppy plantations, on which they destroyed around 13 tons of narcotic plant.
OSCE Chairman-In-Office On Alert Over OSCE AMG Impasse in Belarus
Unprecedented for Belarus trial over the four ZUBR movement activists Mikhail Kiselev, Maksim Potapchik, Alyaxandar Pavlovich, Denis Senokosov and Dmitry Shalashkov resumed today in the Shklov district court of Minsk. Five guys may get three years of jail for wearing masks of Europe’s sole remaining dictator. The authorities are hunting down ZUBRs since August last year when they held in the Gorodets village (once presided by Lukashenka) a performance from the “Time to choose!” series. The blokes put on their faces mustached masks and cruised around Shklov’s stores, where they ran a pre-election agitation among the customers, promising them $100 wages, price-decrease, jail for all thieves, businessmen and all those, who don’t cast their votes for their fellow-countryman. The action was thwarted by the law-enforcers, who for no reason felt that the face on the mask belonged to the presidential candidate Lukashenka.
Situation Over OSCE AMG in Minsk Debated in Brussels
In a speech at the winter OSCE PA session in Vienna the Portuguese Foreign Minister Jaime Gama, who’s also the current OSCE chairman, twice touched upon the Belarusian issue: “In Belarus – following last year’s presidential elections and the important role, played by the OSCE – we are now considering ways of consolidating the activities of the Advisory-Monitoring Group, the new leadership, which we want to appoint soon. Other institutions, also entitled to work in the area of mass media freedom, are needed in Belarus as well. We believe that collaboration between the Advisory-Monitoring group and the ODIHR in carrying out certain projects is a very positive phenomenon,” –
stated the OSCE chairman-in-office.
Valery Ignatovich Renounces Last Word
The issue of appointing a new OSCE AMG head in Belarus is now being discussed on the EU level. Staffer of the Portuguese Foreign Minister, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Radio Svaboda the following: “Discussions are underway in Brussels in order to work out the best approach to the problem. The appointment of the new head of mission should not be associated with the group’s mandate, as the Belarusian authorities are striving to do. Portugal has two portfolios – today’s chairmanship in OSCE, of course, and membership in the EU also. So today in Brussels they are discussing how to better approach the Belarusian government with this problem.”
As you remember, three weeks ago another employee of this organization Luis Kabasa stated that in case the situation with the OSCE AMG in Minsk isn’t solved within a few weeks, the current OSCE chairman-in-office may start working out new strategy in relation to Belarus.
Policeman-Sadist Sentenced to Four Years of Imprisonment
Court hearings over the ORT cameraman Dmitry Zavadsky’s disappearance came to an end. All suspects took their last word. All but one – former “Almaz” militiaman Valery Ignatovich declined to do so. Valery Ignatovich had been brought into the courtroom against his will on a stretcher and proposed to be given last word, but he refused. Three of his accomplices pleaded not guilty. According to judge Simonov, the verdict will be announced no sooner than in three weeks. The exact date hasn’t been mentioned. Previously we reported that the prosecutor demanded capital punishment for all four.
In ZUBRs’ Support
The Central Court of Minsk sentenced a former operative of the Central police administration Syarhei Shamalau to a four-year imprisonment for beating a suspect. The operative Syarhei Shamalau was punished for abuse of office. Last year on May 28 Shamalau, to squeeze a confession of a suspect, beat severely a suspect Ihar Zhitsko with a rubber truncheon. A court medical examination reported that in a result of traumas Zhitsko’s health worsened.
The deputy chair of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee Harry Pahanyaila commented on the verdict in the following way: “Our justice hardly ever gratifies us with such verdicts, when the police officers are punished according to their deeds. We know numerous examples when the detainees were beaten and pushed to confess, but in practice these cases rarely reach the court.
11:01, 26/02/2002, Die Deutsche Welle
Protests against human rights violations in Belarus took place opposite the building of Reichstag and the Belarusian embassy in Germany. The actions were organized by the German affiliate of the international organization Amnesty International. The reason for that was the first anniversary since the proclamation of ZUBR movement. In protests, that took place not only in Germany but also New Zealand and Switzerland, engaged some twenty school and student groups, alarmed over the situation in Belarus. Around 15 people gathered near Reichstag under the red banner, symbolizing the AI’s solidarity with the Belarusian resistance ZUBR. The banner was raised by Mareke Layer from the student group of the Gumboldt University: “We came here to Reichstag in order to draw the deputies’ attention to the situation in Belarus. Nobody in Germany is worried with what happens in a small country, which is no Germany’s foreign priority at all. We deem it necessary to uphold the youth movement in Belarus, struggling for the democratization of the country and human rights observance. Lukashenka created a quasi-dictatorship in the country.”