Four executives of the IT company PandaDoc have been arrested in Belarus, the company’s website reports. PandaDoc called the prosecution of employees a “political order” and a “hostage-taking.”
According to PandaDoc, security officers have arrested four employees of the company for two months. Among the arrested are chief accountant Yulia Shardyka, director Dzmitry Rabtsevich, product director Viktar Kuushynau and HR employee Uladzislau Mikhalap. They were “retrospectively” charged with embezzling 107,000 Belarusian rubles ($ 40,640) from the budget by abusing their official powers (part 4 of article 210 of the Criminal Code of Belarus).
The company insists that the accusations are unfounded, and all activities were conducted in accordance with the law.
“It is no secret that political attacks on opponents are practiced in the Republic of Belarus. However, in this case, the authorities decided to take hostage 4 innocent people who have nothing to do with the initiative of the PandaDoc founders,” the statement said.
PandaDoc founder Nikita Mikada supported the protests against the regime of self-proclaimed President of Belarus Alyaksandr Lukashenka and promised to help law enforcement officers who refuse to carry out criminal orders and beat civilians. He said that more than six thousand law enforcement officers had applied to him for financial support.
“The authorities are trying to influence me in such a low way,” Mikada said in a video message.
PandaDoc demands the termination of the criminal case and the release of the arrested employees.
“Otherwise, our steps are as follows: we will be forced to close the company in Belarus, which will lead to the loss of high-paying jobs. Since it will not work in this mode, we will begin the foundation of an alternative to the High Technology Park outside Belarus. They are waiting for us. We will cover this process as widely as possible in all international media, political and economic circles, “the statement said.
On September 2, the Minsk office of PandaDoc was searched. Security forces then detained seven employees of the company and took them to a detention center.
After the falsification of the results of the presidential election in Belarus, PandaDoc transferred some employees to home offices and declared its readiness to move its IT specialists to Ukraine, Latvia, Cyprus and Portugal.