Nemtsov Sues Lukashenko’s Regime 11:22, 17/12/2002, Maksim Glikin, Nezavisimaya Gazeta
This week will possibly see another escalation of the recent conflict around the deportation from Belarus of the Russian SPS leader Boris Nemtsov. The lawyers intend to file lawsuit in the Minsk court against Belarusian KGB and Council of Ministers. The process promises to turn very loud: never before had the politicians of the two states sued each other.
Meantime, the party leaders and attorneys were seeking ways of embarking on a symmetrical response to Lukashenko for his offense of their leader. It finally became clear that the decision to banish Nemtsov was passed in the top echelons of power after they learnt the title of the KGB officer, who interrogated the head of SPS and announced his deportation – colonel Eduard Shershen, chief of the investigative department of the Belarusians KGB and one of the main Belarusian KGB detectives. Meantime, it turned out that defendants have little tools to sue their opponents in court. They couldn’t address the European human rights court in Strasbourg, for the country isn’t a CoE member-state and won’t become it soon. Nor could they file lawsuit in Moscow, for Nemtsov was on a private, rather than official trip to Minsk and therefore enjoyed no diplomatic immunity as such. The rightists also sought to attract to the conflict’s solution the official structures of the Russian-Belarusian union only to once again realize their complete ineffectiveness. Leaders of the union’s Permanent Committee behaved as if nothing really happened and completely ignored their claims. Meantime, Boris Nemtsov’s colleagues filed a complaint against KGB into the Belarusian Council of Ministers and waited for 30 days for their response. Last week saw the deadline of this period. As could be expected, there came no official paper from the Council to the Moscow office of the SPS. Regardless of the final outcome of the lawsuit, it can’t but cause irritation of the official Minsk, for SPS will be represented in court by the activist of the United Civil Party Evgeny Lobanovich, who has already received a concomitant trustee’s document and is ready to challenge the regime. One cannot rule out that Boris Nemtsov himself will also voice charges in court, thus being given a tribune for condemning the regime of Lukashenko in Minsk.