When visiting the Belarusian Investigative Committee, Alyaksandr Filanovich, a defence lawyer of political prisoner Sofia Sapega, was allowed to familiarise himself with certain case papers.
According to him, Sofia keeps well. She filed a complaint against her being detained; a closed hearing of this case is to be held in Partyzanski district court of Minsk on June, 14.
Filanovich says that he saw documents about initiating another criminal case against his client:
“On Friday, June 11, the lawyer reviewed documents related to Sofia’s detention, as well as other information about the launch of another criminal case against Sofia on May 23.”
He failed to go into detail; it is still unknown what new charge Sofia is facing. At the moment, she is being kept in the notorious KGB prison Amerykanka in Minsk.
On May 23, a Ryanair’s Boeing 737-8AS flying over Belarus was forced to land in Minsk by the local authorities claiming that they got the information about a bomb planted onboard. Belarusian strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka personally gave the order; to ‘escort’ the passenger carrier, a MiG-29 fighter was scrambled. It should be noted that the plane was not far from the Belarusian-Lithuanian air border at that moment; it was at a distance of 90 km from Vilnius and about 200 km – from Minsk. Emigre journalist Raman Pratasevich and his companion, Russian citizen Sofia Sapega, were arrested by security services in the Belarusian capital city. The operation of forcibly landing the Ryanair airplane seems to have been deliberately planned and performed by pro-Lukashenka secret services.
In the wake of the controversial situation, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary slammed Belarusian officials, labelling the steps taken by them as ‘state-sponsored hijacking’. The outrageous incident has triggered a mighty international row. Politicians, diplomats, international organisations denounced the actions of the Lukashenka regime.