'Patriots’ case' suspects make statement

Photo: novychas.by

15 people, involved in the so-called “patriots’ case” also known as the White Legion case have made a joint statement. 

The term of investigation of the case started six months ago was prolonged on September 21. 

"We had hoped that six months would be enough for the state structures to investigate everything and understand that there was no reason to start criminal cases. The case for ‘preparation for mass riots (part 3, article 293)’ was suspended. However, people are still suspected of ‘membership in an illegal armed unit’ and the term of the investigation (article 298) was prolonged on September 21,” Novy Chas quotes the statement.

Lawyer Hanna Bahtsina who defended one of the main suspects, Miraslau Lazouski, was deprived of her license recently. Investigators planned to accuse him of being the leader of ‘an armed organization’.

"Evidently, the decision that affects one of the best-known layers in Belarus was politically motivated and aimed at taking revenge at Hanna Bahtsina who was simply doing her job as a professional lawyer. We are hoping that this practice will not be applied to the other lawyers and that Hanna Bahtsina will get her license back,” the signees stressed.

The people involved in ‘the patriots’ case’ still plead not guilty and say that the reason for the arrest and the charges are far-fetched. The case is political and it not based on actual evidence, they stressed. 

"Charges like ‘organization of mass riots’ and ‘creation of an illegal armed unit’ have nothing to do with the real situation and with the currently non-existent patriotic organization White Legion. They have nothing to do with the personal activities and lives of the people affected by the repressions,” the signees noted.   

The signees have thanked those who supported them and their families. They also warned people against possible swindlers: “Unfortunately, there have been attempts to make money on our misfortune. That is why we have to warn everyone: any activities on behalf of the White Legion or money-raising campaigns for the good of this organization are a swindle and provocation. The White Legion ceased to exist long ago and its former members are not planning to restore this structure.”

Refuting any connection with the case, the signees have declared their principles: “Despite everything, we will continue serving our Motherland by developing the Belarusian culture, expanding the usage of the Belarusian language, strengthening the Belarusian national identity and defending the constitutional system of the Republic of Belarus.”

Alyaksei Abramau, Andrei Byalyauski, Victar Danilau, Andrei Dundukou, Alyaksandr Zimnitski, Ivan Kavalchuk, Andrei Komlik-Yamatsin, Miraslau Lazouski, Victar Maroz, Dzmitry Novik, Tsimur Pashkevich, Uladzimir Rumyantsau, Syarhei Strybulski, Ales Yaudaha and Uladzimir Fyodarau have signed the statement.