Rakhmanko Speaks Up At Last 11:20, 06/12/2002, Sergei Satsuak, “BDG”
On Wednesday the Supreme Court of Belarus resumed hearings on the legal action of the former head of the Belarusian railroad and former senator Viktor Rakhmanko. After the prosecution shared their vision of the situation, the word was given to the defendant himself. This was the man’s first public floor since the start of the legal action, which had been instituted by the Belarusian procuracy on November 23, 2001.
Before responding to the main accusations, voiced earlier, Viktor Rakhmanko voiced his official viewpoint on the illegal criminal persecution: “Never before, even in my thoughts, could I have imagined that for my thirty year long wholehearted service to the interests of the Belarusian railway and the state I will turn out a defendant and stand trial for what I had done”. As pointed out by Rakhmanko, the blow had been delivered not at him alone, but at the whole of the railroad leadership and absolutely groundlessly. “Surprisingly, even before the inspection ever ended mass media embarked on a massive campaign aimed at discrediting me as the head of the Belarusian railway. The public mentality was told that I am a corrupted man, thief of the national dimension and bribe-taker…” Viktor Rakhmanko believes that the legal action, instituted against him, is but an arbitrary persecution of him as head of the Belarusian railroad service and member of the upper chamber of the Belarusian “parliament”: “I categorically object to the accusation’s emphasis, made in course of the investigation, which brought about serious mistake and helped raise charges against me for the crimes I had never committed”.