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Belarusian on trial for espionage in Ukraine, demands interpreter

Yury Palityka in court. Photo:

A district court in Chernihiv, northern Ukraine started the trial of Yury Palityka, a Belarus citizen accused of espionage. If convicted, he may end up in prison from 10 to 15 years with the confiscation of property.

Palityka was detained in June 2017. Several months later, he sent a letter to the Belarus Embassy claiming he had admitted wrongdoing under torture. 

Palityka also told journalists about the torture before the trial on February 12, Radio Svaboda reports. Interrogators had used no psychotropic agents, he added.

“All the charges are based on the fact that I used to work in the Russian VTB-Bank. They accused me of spying for Russia at first and for Belarus later. They do not know what they are doing,” the defendant announced.

Palityka demanded a Belarusian-language interpreter. He was speaking Belarusian in court.

The hearing has been postponed until 3 p.m. on February 13 when an interpreter will have been found.