23 January 2021, Saturday, 7:48
Sim Sim, Charter 97!

Mikalai Autukhovich’s lawyer: “Investigation feared to give us copies of materials of the case”


On December 24, political prisoners Mikalai Autukhovich and Uladzimir Asipenka, charged with preparation of a terroristic act, finished studying the materials of the case.

Mikalai Autukhovich and Uladzimir Asipenka began to familiarize with the materials of the criminal case in the beginning of December. The investigation began in February, the cases consists of 17 volumes. Pavel Sapelka, the lawyer of Autukhovich, says the proofs are worthless. He says he is going to file a motion for suspending criminal prosecution of Mikalai Autukhovich. Pavel Sapelka thinks militia should have closed the case against Autukhovich long ago and apologized to the businessman, Radio Svaboda reports.

“Instead of this the investigation, used unclear methods and unclear ways, far from being lawful and grounded, to collect facts excusing a year’s staying in prison. After we had studied the materials, the investigation feared to allow us copying of the parts we are interested in. People are likely to feel ashamed for their 10-month work,” Pavel Sapelka said.

Mikalai Autukhovich’s lawyer says a refusal to allow copying documents is unlawful. According to Pavel Sapelka, the refusal was oral, but only a written one can give his the right to say the reasons investigators refer to. The lawyer says absence of copies can make it more difficult to defend Autukhovich at trial.

According to Pavel Sapelka, the investigators apparently fear that copies of the documents can fall into the public domain.

As charter97.org website previously informed, businessmen from Vaukavysk Mikalai Autukhovich, Yury Lyavonau, and Uladzimir Asipenka were detained on February 8, 2009. On February 18, the entrepreneurs were charged under article 218 of the Criminal Code (intentional damage to or destruction of property of citizens). On June 23, a criminal case under article 359 of the Criminal Code (a terroristic act) in the form of preparation (article 13) was instigated against Autukhovich and “other persons”.

Lyavonau was released from Minsk remand prison on August 8. On September 24, he was cleared from all charges.

Mikalai Autukhovich was on hunger strike from April 16 to July 16. He demanded either to take the case to the court as soon as possible, or to change the measure of restraint for all persons involved in the case from imprisonment to a written undertaking not to leave the place.

Human rights activists consider them political prisoners, turning attention to the fact that Autukhovich and Lyavonau were convicted before and recognized prisoners of conscience by the international community.