In camera: Former Deputy Interior Minister sentenced to 3.5 years

A military panel of the Supreme Court of Belarus sentenced Yauhen Poludzen, a former Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, to three and a half years in jail and the forfeiture of property.

The panel also stripped Mr Poludzen, a former chief of the public security police, of the rank of police colonel and barred him for five years from holding executive positions and for four years from acting as a government representative. The hearing was being conducted behind closed doors.

The details of his charge and trial remain obscure to the public. As it has been known Mr Poludzen was found guilty of abuse of power and exceeding his powers but cleared of the charges of accepting a bribe and exceeding his powers for personal gain.

The former colonel was detained on December 8, 2011. A week after the arrest well-informed sources said that sufficient evidence of multiple instances of abuse of power for personal gain and other personal reasons had been grounds for the arrest of Mr Poludzen. A year later another criminal case was initiated against the senior police official.

President Aliaksandr Lukashenka, by his December 27, 2011 presidential edict, dismissed Mr Poludzen from his position as deputy minister of internal affairs/chief of the public security police and fired him from the police force “for actions damaging the reputation of the police officer”.

Yauhen Poludzen is notorious for his personal direction of police operations to disperse opposition protests.

Belsat, following BelaPAN

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