Updated at 23:19,25-10-2016

Investigation into charges against Svyatlana Baykova completed

01-10-2010, 22:01
Investigation into charges against Svyatlana Baykova completed

The Committee for State Security (KGB) has completed its investigation into charges against Svyatlana Baykova, Mikhail Volchak, the lawyer for the former senior investigator with the Prosecutor Generals Office, told BelaPAN on Friday.

"The accused and her defense team have started studying the case material," Mr. Volchak said. "Under regulations, this process may not take more than one month, but it may be extended by decision of a prosecutor."

The lawyer described Ms. Baykovas health condition as satisfactory but added that she still needed medical care.

In late August, the 42-year-old Baykova was released from a detention center and placed under house arrest after Prosecutor General Ryhor Vasilevich rejected a request for extending the detention of Ms. Baykova and prolonged the investigation into her case until October 9, 2010.

Ms. Baykova, who investigated charges against a former chief of the State Control Committee's Financial Investigations Department and other people involved in a high-profile smuggling case, was arrested in her office on February 25 by KGB officers.

The arrest warrant, issued by KGB chief Vadzim Zaytsaw, accused the investigator of illegally dropping charges and abusing her office, offenses penalized under the Criminal Codes Article 399 and Article 426, respectively.

In late April, Prosecutor General Ryhor Vasilevich rejected a request for extending the detention of Ms. Baykova because of a lack of evidence that would substantiate the charges against her.

In June, the KGB produced additional evidence suggesting that Ms. Baykova abused her office in 2006 and 2007 by instituting criminal proceedings against certain people and ordering their detention. In this regard, the period of her detention was extended by two months.

In a letter sent to Alyaksandr Lukashenka in June, Ms. Baykova asked the Belarusian leader to ensure her release and give her the opportunity to help him combat corruption, insisting that the power abuse charges brought against her by the KGB were unfounded.

The prosecutor general extended her detention by another two months on June 24. Dr. Vasilevich told reporters on the previous day that he had studied the Baykova case and concluded that the situation was not as clear as it might first seem. There were "excesses" and shortcomings on the part of the investigator, he said, noting that she should not be idealized.

For many years, there had been negative practices in the investigation of cases against customs officers, Dr. Vasilevich explained. People were put in custody without sufficient grounds and that was not always done in accordance with regulations, he said.

In early August, Mr. Volchak told BelaPAN that his client was suffering from kidney failure. He described her condition as "critical."

Mr. Volchak said that he had asked the KGB chief and the prosecutor general to release the woman on her own recognizance because of her ill health or transfer her to a hospital for "urgent" treatment.