16 January 2021, Saturday, 9:25
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Motion of political prisoner Autukhovich to close criminal case dismissed

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The investigator denied to close the case almost immediately after Mikalai Autukhovich’s lawyer addressed him.

A motion of Mikalai Autukhovich, an entrepreneur from Vaukavysk, to close the criminal case against him has been denied. BelaPAN was informed about that by Pavel Sapelka, Autukhovich’s lawyer.

The lawyer underlined that as soon as he read the materials of the case he filed a motion to the investigator to dismiss a charges against his client. “And almost immediately the motion to close the case was denied,” Sapelka said.

The lawyer does not know at which stage the case of his client is, and whether it has been forwarded to the prosecutor’s office. He hasn’t received any official documents in this connection.

As charter97.org website previously informed, Vaukavysk-based businessmen 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.

This year Mikalai Autukhovich, Uladzimir Asipenka and Yury Lyavonau were given the National Human Rights Award in the nomination “For Personal Courage”. The award was founded by Charter’97.