Ukraine has charged Yury Palityka, a 32-year-old citizen of Belarus, with espionage (Article 114-1 of the Criminal Code).
The Belarusian is facing up to 15 years in prison. Now Palityka is being kept in Chernihiv remand prison, TUT.by reports.
A preparatory hearing of the case is to be held in two weeks at the soonest, Consul of the Embassy of Belarus in Ukraine Syarhei Bobau told svaboda.org. According to him, the date of the trial will be set at the hearing. The embassy believes that it will start in late February or early March. The trial is likely to be open.
At the beginning of 2017, Yury sent a letter to the Belarusian embassy. According to the man, he was arrested when he was returning to Belarus. Officers of Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) stopped him at the border crossing point Novi Yarylovychi on June 16, 2017. The citizen of Belarus, whom Ukraine suspected of spying, claims that he incriminated himself under torture. Yury states that he has never worked in the Belarusian KGB or collected secret information for Russia.
There were hardly any elements of espionage in the detainee’s actions, the General Prosecutor’s Office of Belarus said. According to them, the criminal case against the Belarusian is ‘politicized’. Ukraine’s SBU denies Yury Palityka’s allegation of torture.