What is behind the publication of the conversations between Eismant, Baskau, and Shakuta?
On November 18, a recording of a telephone conversation appeared on the Internet. It is assumed that the voices of Dzmitry Baskau and Dzmitry Shakuta are discussing the events of a week ago in the "Square of Changes" where Raman Bandarenka was captured.
On November 19, another audio selection was published. This time, the recordings feature voices similar to those of Baskau and Lukashenka's press secretary Natallia Eismant.
Male and female voices discuss trips to Minsk courtyards and at the same time mention such famous names as Karaeu, Barsukou, Shakhraeu, Zakharau.
"Perhaps other forces are not satisfied with Eismant's influence."
In the commentary to udf.by, director of the Institute Political Sphere and Doctor of Political Sciences, Andrei Kazakevich noted that the authenticity of the records could be determined by the examination.
But if the published telephone conversations were real, what could their appearance on the Internet indicate?
"Most likely, only representatives of the special services could have made the recording. And if Lukashenka said that 500 squads went around Minsk to cut flags, then it follows from the conversations that there could be only one squad. And it consisted of top officials. This demonstrates the level of his popular support," Kazakevich said.
He does not exclude that the leaking of records may be a game of some forces against the officials mentioned in connection with the scandal.
"The same Eismant became a very influential person because of her closeness to the first person. Perhaps other forces are not satisfied with this," Kazakevich said.
As a conspiracy theory, he suggested that Russian secret services could be behind the recordings' publication.
Will Raman Bandarenka's murder be solved?
"They will definitely solve it. The question is: when? Taking into account the amount of video materials (the incident in the yard, loading Bandarenka into the car), the appearance of audio recordings, there is probably a record of what happened in the Police Department, we can say that it is not difficult to solve this crime. The question is whether there is political will. It is obvious that the authorities are not interested in giving this case a go," Kazakevich said.
Why does he think so?
"It will be a blow to the security forces. This will show that carte blanche on suppressing protests is not certain, that there may be exceptions, that executors may be exposed. This is not in the interests of the authorities and the department that stood behind the people involved in the incident. I think they will try to hush up the case. The perpetrators will be named under the new government," Kazakevich believes.
"Much will depend on who caused the fatal injuries - how close they are to the country's leadership."
Retired Police Lieutenant General Mechyslau Hryb noted that, in his opinion, the security services were behind the wiretapping and leaking of telephone conversations.
"There are 8-9 special services in the country that can wiretap conversations of suspects in committing or preparing crimes. But this is official, with the approval of the prosecutor. Unofficially, of course, they can do it without permission. Although this will not be evidence in court," said Hryb.
He quite admits that the records could have been leaked not with the go-ahead of the management of some Department, but one person could have done it.
"Why not? He could do it with access to the records," said Hryb.
What does the retired police lieutenant general think about the prospects of solving the murder of Raman Bandarenka?
"There are no difficulties in solving this murder. Three stages can be considered. The first stage is the detention of Bandarenka in the courtyard of his house, where he was knocked down.
Already there, he could be seriously injured. In stage two, a serious injury could have been caused in a minibus. In stage three, the injury could have been caused in the regional department," says Hryb.
But he has more questions about the last stage than about others.
"If the delivered suspect has bodily injuries or is in poor condition, the police officers on duty, according to the instructions, should not accept him. He must be sent to the hospital: either by the staff themselves or by ambulance. If Bandarenka was admitted to the police department, then in what condition was he? This is just the reasoning of a former employee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and a lawyer," said Hryb.
He does not consider it a problem to find the culprits.
"Probably, it is known who brought him to the police, who admitted him, who called the ambulance. It still lies on the surface," said Hryb.
But will the perpetrators be punished?
"It's hard to say. Many people have recently been beaten, maimed, and killed, but we do not hear that criminal cases have been initiated, and someone has been brought to justice for this. Much in this case will depend on who caused the fatal injuries – how close they are to the country's leadership," said Hryb.