MINSK, 18 Nov. The IC of Belarus prepares materials for the special production procedure , which will allow launching a trial in absentia, against the founder of the Nexta Telegram channel (recognized as extremist and terrorist in the republic) Stepan Putilo, said the chairman of the department, Dmitry Gora. conducting a trial in absentia in relation to those accused under certain criminal articles who are outside the country. It became possible to pass judgments in absentia, including making decisions on the confiscation of the property of the perpetrators in order to compensate for the damage caused by them.
“Special production has been initiated against real traitors, people who have caused enormous damage to our country,” the SB.Belarus Today edition quotes him on its website.
The head of the Investigative Committee explained that he “plans to prepare materials for special proceedings against two more persons – Stepan Putilo and Stanislav Luponosov” – a former employee of the GUBOPiK of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, who is suspected of transferring official data to the Belarusian opposition, as well as “the terrorist organization BYPOL and those who joined it.”
In April, the Supreme Court of Belarus recognized the Nexta group of Telegram channels as a terrorist organization. Supporters of the Belarusian opposition during the period of mass protests after the presidential elections in 2020 coordinated their actions through Telegram channels, the Nexta channel became one of the most popular.
The founder of the Nexta group of Telegram channels, Putilo, and other persons involved in its work, were accused in Belarus of organizing and directing the activities of a terrorist organization. Prior to this, the Telegram channels of the Nexta group were recognized in Belarus as an extremist formation. Putilo and another founder of these Telegram channels, Roman Protasevich, who at that time were outside Belarus, were included in the list of those involved in terrorism in the republic. They were found accused under the criminal articles “organization of mass riots” and “organization of group actions grossly violating public order.” In addition, a criminal case was initiated against them in connection with the commission of “deliberate actions aimed at inciting social hatred on the basis of professional affiliation.” Minsk requested their extradition.
Protasevich was detained at the end of May 2021 at the Minsk airport, when a Ryanair plane flying from Athens to Vilnius urgently landed there due to a report of a mining operation, which turned out to be false. Poland refused to extradite Putilo.
After the presidential elections held in Belarus on August 9, 2020, in which Alexander Lukashenko won for the sixth time, who, according to the CEC, won 80.1% of the votes, mass opposition protests took place in the country to suppression of which the security forces used special equipment and special equipment. On February 11 last year, the KGB of Belarus announced that the manifestations of protests had practically disappeared. In Belarus, criminal cases have been initiated against a number of opposition leaders, including calls for the seizure of power, the creation of an extremist formation, a conspiracy to seize state power in an unconstitutional way, and an attempted terrorist act.