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Customs official Yurkoits stands trial, reports torture in KGB prison

Photo: Syarhei Hudzilin

11 Ashmyany customs officials have been standing trial on charges of bribery in Minsk Partisan District Court for three weeks. The court started interrogating witnesses on December 6.

The other customs officers are standing trial in Minsk Kastrychnitski and Frunzenski District Courts and in and Minsk Regional Court.

Ales Yurkoits has reported torture in KGB prison, Radio Liberty reports. The prison warders would not let him sleep. They kept banging on the cell door with their batons for three nights on end and were dazzling him, he claimed. They were exercising pressure on him to make him plead guilty, he believes.

Yurkoits has pled not guilty. He said that he was on bad terms with his ex-colleague Syarhei Chepin who had reported three cases of bribe-giving to Yurkoits.

 Yurkoits is suspected of misappropriating more than $12 thousand. However, only three cases of bribery have been mentioned – about 1000 dollars. The investigators have simply counted the cars with flowers checked by Yurkoits in a certain period and have not reported any proof of his violations yet, one of the observers thinks.