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Sheiman and Paulichenka not questioned in opposition leaders kidnapping case

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Prosecutor of Minsk Mikalai Kulik responded Volha Zakharanka’s appeal to the prosecutor general.

In her appeal of February 6 to the Prosecutor General of Belarus Volha Zakharanka asked to provide her with detailed information about investigation in the criminal case of kidnapping of her husband, former interior minister Yury Zakharanka, and appeal against the decision of the Kastrychnitski district court of Minsk, refused to pronounce the former interior minister dead.

“The criminal case is now being investigated by Varauka Y., an investigator of Minsk for particularly important cases. Investigatory and special investigative activities, aimed at finding location of Zkharanka Y. and details of his disappearance, are being carried out. You will get additional information about the investigation results.

There are no grounds to appeal against the decision of the Kastrychnitski district court of Minsk to suspend proceedings in a civil case on pronouncing Y. Zakharanka dead, because this decision agrees with item 4 of part 1 of article 160 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Belarus,” says the answer of the 3d class counsellor of justice Mikalai Kulik, prosecutor of Minsk.

Volha Zakharanka is going to appeal against this answer.

Human rights activist Aleh Vouchak notes that such appeals must be considered within three days, according to article 137 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

“I received the answer on March 16,” Aleh Vouchak tells in an interview to “Belorusski Partizan”. “The answer was ready on March 10, it was mailed on March 14, I received it on March 16. Turn attention to the date of the answer – March 10. On March 10, a session of the UN working group on Enforced disappearances of the Commission on Human Rights was held in Geneva. I told the working group what attitude towards human rights officers of the prosecutor’s office had.”

I suppose that Vasilevich doesn’t have enough courage not even as a Prosecutor General, but as a man, to give an answer to Volha; at least, he should have expressed his sympathy to the woman, if I were Prosecutor General, I would do it,” the human rights activist says.

The human rights defender notes that Mikalai Kulik “didn’t answer the main question: were Sheiman, Sivakou, and Navumau checked for their involvement in disappearance of Yury Zakharanka?”

Besides, the fate of the claim of pronouncing the former minister dead is still unknown.

“In 2002, Volha Zakharanka filed a claim on pronouncing Yury Zakharanka dead to the Kastrychnitski district court of Minsk according to the Civil Code. Any citizen can be pronounced dead if there has been no information about him for three years. The court suspended considering of the claim until considering of the criminal case of disappearance of Yury Zakharanka is finished. Limitation of action of such case, according to article 101 of the old Criminal Code, is 15 years; 10 years have passed, the preliminary investigation will last five years more. That’s why we think that the claim to pronounce Y. Zakharanka dead will be examined after investigation of the criminal case ends,” A. Vouchak says.

Y. Varavka is the forth investigator, responsible for this case. The case of Zakharanka was investigated by Svyatlana Bayko, Uladzimir Chumachenka, Syarhei Kukharonak. By the way, Y. Varavka also investigates the cases Viktar Hanchar and Anatol Krasouski.

In view of Aleh Vouchak, by this answer the prosecutor’s office violated the Declaration on the Protection of All People from Enforced Disappearence, adopted by the UN Assembly General on December 19, 1992.

It should be reminded that in 1990–2009, Viktar Hanchar, first vice speaker of the Supreme Council of Belarus of the 13th convocation and head of the Central Electoral Commission, Anatol Krasouski, businessman and public figure, Yury Zakharanka, former minister of internal affairs, who later became an opposition politician, Zmitser Zavadski, ORT TV channel cameraman disappeared in Belarus. Nothing is known of the fate of these people.

The international community calls to find out further fate of the disappeared Belarusian oppositionists. Resolutions of UN Human Rights Commission, Parliamentary Assemblies of the Council of Europe and the OSCE urge to reveal the truth about the disappearances.

A number of Belarusian high-ranking officials, in particular minister of internal affaires Uladzimir Navumau, head of the president’s administration Viktar Sheiman, former minister of internal affaires Yury Sivakou, and former commander of special task squad Dzmitry Paulichenka are banned from entry into the EU countries and the US, because they are suspected of involvement in kidnapping of the oppositionists.

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