Bialiatski asked Poland not to give the information about his accounts away
Ales Bialiatski, a human rights defender of Belarus, visited the Embassy of Poland in Minsk in June 2011 and asked the Belarusian authorities not to give the information about his bank accounts away, Rzeczpospolita wrote on October 19.
Mr. Bialiatski was sentenced on November 24, 2011 to 4.5 years of imprisonment in a strict regime with a confiscation of property for concealing incomes on a large scale. Colleagues of the human rights defender said that the money received to foreign accounts had been used to support the activities of Human Rights Center Viasna.
According to Rzeczpospolita, Mr. Bialiatski told Polish diplomats that his lawyer had found the copy of the appeal for legal aid that had been addressed to Poland.
In a response to the appeal asking not to give the information about the accounts away, the human rights defender received assurances of Polish diplomats that the Minister of Foreign Affairs Radoslaw Sikorski would be notified about this. The Polish Foreign Ministry said that Mr. Sikorski had not received the information. At the same time, the Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Bosatski refused to confirm whether Mr. Bialiatski talked about this issue with Polish diplomats in Minsk.
Natalya Pinchuk, wife of Mr. Bialiatski, and his colleague Valyantsin Stefanovich confirm the fact of the meeting with Polish diplomats.
According to the spokesman of the Polish Prosecutor General's Office Mateusz Martyniuk, both Mr. Sikorski and his department did not give Prosecutor General Andrzej Seremet any notifications about the case of Mr. Bialiatski. The representative of the Prosecutor General's Office said that Mr. Sikorski and Mr. Seremet had already had a conversation after sending account statements of Mr. Bialiatski.
During a visit to Poland, shortly before the arrest, Mr. Bialiatski was offered not to come back to Belarus. However, he was sure that Poland would not give bank details away, he came back, and was arrested a week later on the basis of the information on the accounts that was 'granted' by Poland and Lithuania.
According to Rzeczpospolita, the Foreign Ministry of Poland blames the Prosecutor General's Office.
"In fact, there was a meeting on the issue, but the information was of a general nature. We have never received the information from the Foreign Ministry that the case of Bialiatski is of political matter. If such information was obtained from the diplomats, I assure that the documents would not be provided. It is unfair to shift all the blame onto us", Mr. Martyniuk said.
We remind that representatives of the Belarusian opposition has received the financial documents in the mail the other day. The documents were sent by the Foreign Ministry of Poland. The Foreign Ministry said that the documents could not harm Belarusians as it had happened with Mr. Bialiatski's case. However, in the opinion of the part of Belarusian activists, the Polish authorities learned nothing from the case of the human rights defender.