Updated at 23:19,25-10-2016

Investigation against Vawkavysk dissidents extended

06-07-2009, 18:56

The investigation of the criminal case against arrested dissidents Mikalay Awtukhovich, Yury Lyavonaw and Uladzimir Asipenka has been extended once again, Mr. Awtukhovichs lawyer, Pavel Sapelka, told BelaPAN.

The investigation period was to expire on July 3. "If they were not released, that means that the investigation was extended. I dont know for what period, defense counsels are not notified of this under the law," Mr. Sapelka said. The lawyer described the condition of his client as bad but said that he was still refusing food.

The men were apprehended in armed raids in their hometown of Vawkavysk, Hrodna region, on the morning of February 8 and brought to a detention center in Minsk. Police said that they were suspected of perpetrating a series of arsons and explosions targeting the property of local officials and of illegal possession of explosives and firearms.

They were formally charged with deliberate destruction of or damage to property caused in a way dangerous to the public or the intentional infliction of large-scale damage on February 18.

Mr. Awtukhovich has been on hunger strike since April 16, protesting his detention and demanding that the case should be either referred to court or all those under investigation in the case should be released on their own recognizance.

In June, Mr. Awtukhovich was declared a suspect in a case against a certain Laryn, who is accused of possession of a grenade launcher and a homemade explosive device.