20 January 2018, Saturday, 12:23

Former CEO of blast-hit Pinskdrew arrested in Italy

Laran Arynich, the former director general of woodworking company Pinskdrew, has been arrested by police in Italy, Belarusian Deputy Prosecutor General Alyaksey Stuk told reporters in Minsk on Tuesday.

Mr. Arynich was apprehended in the Iseo commune in northern Italy on June 16 and is currently in custody, Mr. Stuk said.

The Prosecutor General’s Office will soon file a request for his extradition, he said.

In August 2012, Mr. Arynich was arrested in Poland, placed under police supervision and banned from leaving Poland, Mr. Stuk said. The restrictions on his freedom were subsequently eased and the police supervision was replaced with a house arrest. Polish authorities did not immediately grant Belarus’ request for his extradition.

Mr. Stuk did not explain how Mr. Arynich ended up in Italy.

An arrest warrant for Mr. Arynich was issued in September 2011.

The former executive is facing charges in connection with a deadly blast at Pinskdrew’s plant in October 2010. Three more Pinskdrew executives have been charged over the explosion. They have already been convicted and two of them have been imprisoned.

The explosion at the company’s chipboard plant killed two workers at the scene. Twelve more workers died later in the hospital.

Mr. Arynich was dismissed as director general of the private Pinsk-based company in January 2011 by the board of the Belarusian State Timber, Woodworking, Pulp and Paper Industries Concern.

The dismissal happened days after Alyaksandr Lukashenka transferred the control of ZAT Pinskdrew to the state conglomerate, a move that sparked objections from the shareholders and raised further questions about the safety of private property in Belarus.