REP trade union case investigation over

The Investigative Committee is accusing the head of the independent trade union “REP” Henadz Fedynich and the bookkeeper Ihar Komlik of tax evasion for the sum of $ 22 thousand.

According to investigators, Fedynich and Komlik opened an account in the Lithuanian banking institution, which received money in foreign currency. Afterwards the members of the trade union brought this money to Belarus and transferred them to Komlik and Fedynich.

Investigators assure that more than 140,000 euros were transferred to the bank account in 2011. They calculated that the amount of unpaid taxes by the trade union “REP” exceeded 22 thousand BYN.

“This is a politically motivated matter. The authorities do not need a trade union, but people need it,” said union leader Fedynich.

The representative of the Investigative Committee also said that the accused had falsified financial documents. As evidence, he showed a scanned bank payment signed by a bank employee, then showed another paper on which there was only a seal, and the signature was removed by a graphic editor. According to the investigator, this seal was used to forge reports for the donors.

“It is the first time I’ve heard about this. But this means that it is a criminal case. Well, why don’t they show the originals? And they don’t do it, because there is nothing in them. Today you can draw anything on your computer. They just want to be done with the case,” Fedynich said.

After the defendants get acquainted with the case materials, those will be handed over to the prosecutor, who will send the case to court. Henadz Fedynich and Ihar Komlik face restriction of freedom for up to 5 years or imprisonment for a term of 3 to 7 years with or without confiscation of property.

In 2011, the head of the human rights center “Viasna” Ales Bialiatski was convicted over the same article. The case was then based on the information about his accounts in foreign banks, transferred to the Belarusian authorities by the Ministry of Justice of Lithuania and the Polish Prosecutor General’s Office. On October 24, 2011 Ales Bialiatski was sentenced to 4.5 years imprisonment. He was released after the amnesty on June 21, 2014.

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