Minsk Region Prosecutor’s Office has responded to the appeal by human rights defender Aleh Matskevich who required a probe into the tragic death of conscript Alyaksandr Korzhych in Pechy-based military unit.
A special enquiry has been made into the incident, Dzmitry Kuznyatsou, a representative of the prosecutor’s office, said in a written reply.
“The regional prosecutor’s office has been conducted a prosecutor’s investigation, in the course of which we found, among other things, violations of the legislation on the prevention of crime and suicide cases among military personnel,” the letter says.
The procuracy employees claim to have demanded from the command to take measures on eliminating the detected violations and preventing them in the future. According to them, a question of holding some officials liable has been raised.
The Belarusian Ministry of Defense has faced a massive public outrage after Korzhych’s death. By mid October, over 10,000 persons had signed the online petition demanding the resignation of Defense Minister Andrey Raukou. However, the petition was blocked after the ministry’s complaints.
The 21-year-old soldier was found hanged in the basement in the territory of a military unit in Pechy, his legs were tied up. According to the family and friends, senior conscripts bullied, battered and tortured the young man to squeeze money out of him. As a result, they allegedly killed him and then faked his suicide.
The Investigative Committee opened criminal cases under Article 443 (hazing), 455 (failure of authorities to act, resulting in grave consequences), 209 (fraud) of the Criminal Code of Belarus.