Updated at 23:19,25-10-2016

Viktar Sheyman appointed presidential property manager

Alyaksandr Lukashenka has appointed Viktar Sheyman to head the property management department of the Presidential Administration.

The former head of the presidential property management department, Mikalay Korbut, was dismissed on January 18, because of his "transfer to another job."

Prior to his new appointment, Mr. Sheyman has served as presidential aide for special missions since January 2009.

Mr. Sheyman was born in the Hrodna region on May 26, 1958. He graduated from the Higher Armor Command School in Blagoveshchensk, Russia.

Before being elected to the 12th Supreme Soviet (Belarusian parliament) from an electoral district in the Brest region in 1990, Major Sheyman, a veteran of the Afghanistan war, had been chief of staff with an airborne assault unit.

He was a member of the campaign headquarters of candidate Lukashenka during Belarus' first presidential election in 1994. His function was to guard the candidate.

He was appointed state secretary of the Security Council on August 5, 1994, when the Council was established.

He served as minister of internal affairs between October and December 1995.

Mr. Sheyman was reappointed as state secretary of the Security Council of Belarus on January 21, 1997. He was relieved of this position on November 27, 2000 to be appointed as prosecutor general the following day over what official sources called the president's discontent with how "much-talked-of" disappearances were being investigated. Opposition circles, which called Mr. Sheyman one of the prime suspects in the 1999 disappearances of prominent opposition leaders, said that the Belarusian ruler wanted to bury the crimes.

Mr. Sheyman served as head of the Presidential Administration between November 2004 and January 2006. He was relieved of the position because of his job as head of the incumbent president's campaign team for a presidential election.

He was reappointed state secretary of the Security Council on March 20, 2006.

He was dismissed on July 8, 2008, officially "in connection with his transfer to another job." "I believe that you should not remain in the position after this incident, as you are guilty in the first instance, because you, by order of the president, have been organizing such events for 10 years, not one year. And youve have done nothing," the head of state told Mr. Sheyman at a government meeting on a bomb explosion that occurred during an Independence Day concert in Minsk on July 4.

Opposition politicians and human rights organizations consider Mr. Sheyman to be one of the prime suspects in the disappearance of former Interior Minister Yury Zakharanka in May 1999, the disappearance of former Central Election Commission Chairman Viktar Hanchar and his friend, businessman Anatol Krasowski, in September 1999, and the case of Dzmitry Zavadski, a Minsk-based cameraman for Russia's ORT television network who went missing in July 2000.

Mr. Sheyman is on the European Union's and the United States lists of Belarusian officials subject to an entry ban and an assets freeze in connection with their involvement in a crackdown on civil society and opposition activists in the country.

The Presidential Administrations property management department has long been a powerful economic conglomerate that collects huge proceeds from renting out hundreds of state-owned office buildings and controlling several dozen organizations that run more than 100 lucrative businesses.