Jailed political activist Babaryka answers questions about current political situation in Belarus

Former head of Belgazprombank Viktar Babaryka has been able to give answers to questions for RBC from the jail. He spoke about his views on the current political crisis in Belarus.

Viktar Babaryka said that the statements of the Belarusian authorities about the alleged external threat to the country and the salvation of independence are untrue. The former banker and politician says that the country’s government was saving “their own power from the people who wanted to change life for the better, and were ready to use even external armed forces for this purpose”.

Viktar Babaryka. Photo: Iryna Arakhouskaya / Belsat.eu

At the same time Viktar Babaryka expresses the opinion that the country has failed to maintain its true independence.

“As for any person, the independence of the state is based on the economy. If you can’t provide for yourself, but take money from your parents, relatives or friends, it’s difficult to talk about independence,” Babaryka said.

Viktar Babaryka, who’d decided to run for presidency in 2020, was arrested along with his son Eduard on June 18 last year. The ex-banker is charged under Part 3 Article 430 (“Accepting a bribe on a large scale”) and Part 2 Article 235 (“Money laundering”) of the Criminal Code.

Seven of Babaryka’s former subordinates are also in the dock. They are all accused under the already mentioned article 430. They are Kiryl Badzei, who became head of Belgazprombank last year instead of Babaryka; former deputy heads Syarhei Dobrolet, Dzmitry Kuzmich, Syarhei Shaban and Alyaksandr Ilyasiuk; as well as former First Deputy Head Alyaksei Zadoyka.

Another defendant, general director of “Activleasing” Viktar Kabyak, was charged under part 2 of Article 431 (“Bribe-taking on repeated or large scale”). According to the investigation, he gave a bribe of at least €2.5 million.

Viktar Babaryka “categorically disagrees with the charges,” while his defenders insist on “complete innocence”. All other defendants admit their guilt.