23 January 2018, Tuesday, 19:15

Valer Bulhakau flees Belarus

He may face up to 7 years in prison, the former Arche magazine editor-in-chief says.

“I may be thrown into prison for an indefinite time. Three cases against Arche may give a punishment of seven years in jail. I don't think all articles will be confirmed in a court, but the situation is difficult. It's hard to keep calm in the centre of this turmoil,” Valer Bulhakau said in an interview with Radio Svaboda.

On October 18, the economic court of the Hrodna region found Valer Bulhakau guilty of illegal business activity – sales of books and magazines. He was fined 5 basic units. Tax officers also seized more than 5,000 copies of books and magazines. Valer Bulhakau was detained in Hrodna  on September 14 during a presentation of a new book.

Criminal news programme Zona X on the Belarusian TV showed two stories about  Arche case in late October. Journalists said Arche editors were charged with illegal business activity, accounts of the magazine were blocked and 5,500 copies of books edited by Valer Bulhakau were seized.