23 January 2021, Saturday, 8:19
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Mikalai Autukhovich: “I’ll prove my innocence. If I am not killed”

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The proceeding in the case of Mikalai Autukhovich, Uladzimir Asipenka, Mikhail Kazlou and Alyaksandr Laryn goes on in the Supreme Court of Belarus.

The court studied the materials of the case today. A letter that Mikalai Autukhovich had written before his hungry strike on September 20, 2005, was read out. As Radio Svaboda reports, Autukhovich wrote that offiicals from Vaukavysk and the Hrodna region had driven him into a corner, impeded him to conduct business, unlawfully imposed big fines on him allegedly for evasion of taxes, a criminal had groundlessly been instigated against him, so he had had to go on hunger strike in protest Autukhovich confirmed that the letter had been written by him and told the court he was ready to prove his innocence if he was not killed.

Mikalai Autukhovich also told the court he knew a person in the law-enforcement bodies who was able to prove the criminal case against Nika-trans had been instigated on an order from above. According to Autukhovich, Anatoly Hramovich, the then head of the Financial Investigation Department allegedly had ordered his staff to open a case before 2005. According to Autukhovich, Hramovich wrote in a letter to the Financial Investigation Department of the Hrodna region: “Find another job”.

We remind that Anatoly Hramovich, a former head of the Financial Investigation Department of the State Control Committee, got a prison term last year in connection with a case of misuse of power by customs officers in Brest.

Another interesting detail became known during studying the materials of the case of a “terrorist attack”. Main witness in the case Alyaksandr Laryn was detained on January 31, 2008, as a suspect of involvement into a blast on July 4, 2008 in Winners Avenue in Minsk. Laryn denied his involvement in the crime and initially denied he relation to a grenade launcher found in Hrodna in 2005. Alyaksandr Laryn started to give confession in the case on February 24, 2009.

We remind that all witnesses in the case of Autukhovich say about strong pressure by investigators, state the Vaukavysk businessman is not guilty and deny their previous evidence.

Witness Lyudmila Paremskaya, a former accountant at Autukhovich’s firm Nika-trans, stated about psychological pressure.

“Everything I told investigators about arms is untrue. I was in a state when I could tell and write everything to be released,” Lyudmila Paremskaya said about her evidence regarding a grenade launcher found in Hrodna.

Businessman from Orsha Ihar Puzikau told the court he had been threatened, he had been promised early release, interrogated as a suspect, and it was effective: he gave necessary testimony. The award for him was not only freedom, but money for the ticket from Hrodna to Orsha and a bottle of vodka from the hands of the investigator.