21 January 2018, Sunday, 22:56

Court attempted at depriving Mikalaj Autukhovich of driver’s license


Without a driver’s license the former political prisoner would lose the only source of income.

Vaukavysk bailiffs planned on depriving the former political prisoner Mikalaj Autukhovich of the driver’s license in order to punish him for not paying the debt, remaining from the first criminal proceeding of 2006.

After the first proceeding for alleged tax evasion Autukhovich had a big debt left, which he is not going to pay back. Not it is over Br 350 million. Although, last time Autukhovich was told a much larger amount: approximately $140 thousand (about Br 1.4 billion). The amount grew smaller after the confiscation of property – an apartment, two storehouses and 13 taxi cabs, Belsat reports.

“They took everything, I have nothing left”, - Mikalaj Autukhovich says.

The bailiffs see that he pays the debt. Since this is not happening, they have initiated the procedure of temporary deprivation of the political prisoner of the driver’s license. The court, though, did not rule in favor of the plaintiff. Autukhovich has not been deprived of the driver’s license, since starting on 2 June he has been working as a driver, which is his only source of income now.

The former political prisoner has had the driver’s license since he was 16 (he is now 50) and he never got deprived of it for violations.

For the first time Mikalaj Autukhovich was arrested in October 2005 after he had started actively fighting for his business (the entrepreneurs had a taxi company) and take long protest hunger strikes. He was charged with tax evasion and sentenced to three and a half years in prison. He was one of the six political prisoners, released as a result of tough USA and EU sanctions.

For the second time Mikalaj Autukhovich was arrested on 8 February 2009 and sentenced on 6 May 2010 by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus under part 3 of the article 295 of the Criminal Code (illegal activities with shotguns, ammunition and explosives) and, despite the case completely fell apart in court due to the lack of evidence, was sentenced to 5 years and 2 months in high security prison.

By court’s decision as of 17 January 2012 the penitentiary conditions were changed for him for tougher ones, he was transported from the penal colony number 5 to the prison number 1 in Hrodna.

Autukhovich did not plead guilty in court and stated that he was being persecuted for anti-corruption activities. Due to pressure and provocations on the part of prison administrations he attempted suicide.

He was released on 8 April 2014.