On July 6, 2021, the Supreme Court of Belarus sentenced former presidential candidate Viktar Babaryka to 14 years in a high-security colony. Judge Igor Lyubovitsky passed this sentence. This verdict was handed down by the Supreme Court. Viktar Babaryka cannot appeal it.

Viktar Babaryka got charged with taking a bribe on a large scale by an organized group and legalizing funds obtained by maleficent means (part 3 of Article 430 and Part 2 of Article 235 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus). Initially, Prosecutor Sergei Girgel requested a sentence of 15 years in prison for Babariko.

The people’s candidate did not admit his guilt and refused to testify in court.

Together with Viktar, there were deputy chairman of the bank’s management board Sergey Shaban, Alexander Ilyasyuk, Kirill Badey, Dmitry Kuzmich, Sergey Dobrolet, former first deputy chairman Alexey Zadoiko in the dock. They were accused of receiving a bribe on a large scale (part 3 of Article 430 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus).

Viktar Kabiak, the founder of Activleasing LLC, was also accused in the so-called “Belgazprombank case”. He was charged under Part 2 of Article 431 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus (Giving a bribe on a particularly large scale-Ed.). The other defendants, in this case, received terms from 3 to 6.5 years in prison.

Unfortunately, politically motivated cases and eliminating the dictator’s competitors in the political arena have become commonplace in Belarus today.

Viktar Babaryka was popular in the presidential elections last year. According to the preliminary Internet polls, more than 50% of Belarusians with the right to vote were ready to choose him.

Viktar’s lawyer, Alexander Pylchanka, commented on such a sentence as follows: “For premeditated murder, they give from 6 to 15 years.” The defender of the ex-candidate also said that this practice ends soon. He added that Babaryka’s sentence, as well as cases of thousands of Belarusian political prisoners, will be reviewed.

Today, we recall the chronology of the events of the summer-2020, reflecting the preparations for the struggle for the presidential seat of Viktar Babaryka and further repressions against him.

On May 12, Viktar Babaryka put forward his candidacy for President of the Republic of Belarus and on May 20, registered his initiative group of 8,904 people.

On May 31, Viktor Babariko presented the “Declaration on Fair Elections”.

Reference of “Our House”

According to Belarusian laws, to register a candidate, it is necessary to provide 100 thousand signatures. Viktar Babaryka’s initiative group gathered them by June 6, 2020. On June 9, 2020, Babariko broke Zianon Pazniak record, getting more than 230 thousand signatures for his nomination. By June 19, the candidate’s headquarters reported that they had collected 425 thousand signatures.

On June 17, the account of Viktar Babaryka’s election fund in the Belarusbank ASB was blocked. According to the headquarters, more than 100 thousand Belarusian rubles were there.

On June 18, 2020, Viktar Babaryka and his son Eduard, the head of the initiative group, were detained, later it became known that Viktar Babaryka was arrested and sent to the KGB pre-trial detention centre.

On June 20, Babaryka’s headquarters submitted to the CEC of Belarus the entire package of documents for the candidate registration, including the required 100 thousand signatures.

On July 14, 2020, the CEC refused to register Babaryka as a candidate because “the declaration does not reflect the material assets and real estate in his [Babaryka’s] actual ownership and use, as well as income from the activities of several Belarusian commercial structures controlled by him.” The campaigners claimed that the chairman of the CEC of Belarus, Lidziya Yarmoshyna, took the side of the investigation without a court decision and thus defiantly violated the Constitution.

On July 16, 2020, representatives of the headquarters of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Viktar Babaryka and Valery Tsepkalo met. As a result, an agreement was reached, and Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya became the only candidate from unregistered politicians.

ICCI “Our House” expresses a categorical protest against such a court decision and demands the immediate release of Viktar Babaryka from custody. Of course, neither Viktor nor any other political prisoner of Belarus will remain in captivity for a long time. Both the dictator and his regime will soon stop ridiculing Belarusians. It is evidenced by the large-scale sanctions pressure and the hysteria of the usurper, his hallucinations, where he sees “drones with canisters” flying from Lithuania. Immediately after the fall of the criminal regime, new, fair and open presidential elections will be held in Belarus. And any candidate, including Viktar Babaryka, will be able to participate.