Pretrial investigation resumes for Belarusian United Civil Party leader Lebedko

MINSK, August 9 (Itar-Tass) —— Pretrial investigation has resumed for Chairman of the Belarusian opposition United Civil Party Anatoly Lebedko in the case of Minsk riots of December 19, 2010.

Lebedko received the notification from the pretrial investigation department chief, G. Kazakevich. “Alas, Kazakevich’s letter does not explain grounds for the resumed investigation. One may think that the investigation has political rather than legal motivations. Law enforcers are preparing for the autumnal season and displaying their readiness to bring charges against new people in the already opened criminal case. For me personally, this means that will be a political hostage for an indefinite time,” he said.

Lebedko, a campaign representative of Belarusian presidential candidate Yaroslav Romanchuk, was detained at home on December 20, 2010, and charged with organizing the Minsk riots. He was taken to a detention ward of the State Security Committee and spent three months there before the release on his own recognizance. Lebedko said he was practically not questioned. His passport and personal belongings are being kept at the detention center, so Lebedko is unable to exchange his driving license or even to receive mail.

Several dozens of people were accused of the Minsk riots, which followed the Belarusian presidential election. More than 40 suspects, among them ex-presidential candidates Vladimir Neklyayev, Vitaly Rymashevsky, Andrei Sannikov, Nikolai Statkevich and Dmitry Uss, were convicted. Another opposition candidate, Alexei Mikhalevich, escaped abroad.

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