Investigative Committee to continue the ‘Patriots’ Case’

Six months ago, Lukashenka said about the arrest of militants, who had allegedly prepared an armed provocation against Belarus.

Detentions began after Lukashenka’s statements.

In total, more than thirty people ended up in custody. Among them were the former activists of the “White Legion”, which had long ceased to exist, as well as members of the club “Patriot” and “Young Front”. They were accused of preparing riots, and later – in the creation of an illegal armed formation.

All the defendants had been released on bail, and most of them cleared of all charges. Currently, the Investigative Committee is to decide whether to terminate or continue the investigation. Earlier it was reported that the case had a new investigators, since several of its members had resigned from the job for unknown reasons.

Investigative Committee said the investigation will continue.

According to the creator of the “White Legion” Syarhei Bulba, the case may be re-qualified, but it certainly will not yet be stopped.

“I think they cannot find grounds for applying the article of “illegal armed formation”, now they are looking for another article that can be used,” said Bulba.

According to politicians and experts, the case of so-called patriots is very important to Lukashenka, because, among other things, it is a bargaining chip in his geopolitical interests.

“They are simply used as a consumable. If not for them, there would have been some other people. They are stigmatized as nationalists and sold to Putin…” said the politician Paval Sevyarynets.

The case played its role locally, too.

The detention took place on the eve of the Freedom Day, which the opposition was getting ready to mark on March 25 and after a hot protesting winter, when the thousands of people disgruntled with social and economic policy of Lukashenka took to the streets of Belarusian cities.

Volha Zharnasek, Belsat

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