News / 10.05.18

"I refuse to find myself guilty": final charge presented to Fedynich and Komlik

The leaders of the REP Trade Union are accused of large-scale tax evasion.

On May 8, Gennady Fedynich and Igor Komlik, the leaders of the Belarusian independent REP Trade Union, were finally charged with an especially large-scale tax evasion (Part 2, Article 243, of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus).

“We are accused under Part 2, Article 243, of the Criminal Code – especially large-scale tax evasion. Investigators have concluded that I and Komlik are guilty of the fact that in 2011 the REP Trade Union failed to pay taxes to the state budget in the amount of 22,867 roubles 10 kopecks (with account of the recent denomination).”

“I don’t find myself guilty and will never admit my guilt. I believe that the case is politically motivated with the main goal to put pressure on me as a trade union leader, on the REP and on the independent trade union movement as a whole,” Gennady Fedynich has stated to the website.

Investigators have pointed out that the criminal prosecution of unidentified persons under our criminal case was stopped on May 7, 2018, as there were no such persons.

“Investigators conducted hundreds of interrogations throughout the country; and it became obvious that there were and are no crimes in the actions of any of the questioned persons. Only Fedynich and Komlik remain to be accused," Mr Fedynich has stressed.

Now, the leaders of the REP Trade Union have a month to get acquainted with the case files, after which the criminal case will be sent to the court.

“Within a month we should study the case files (about ten volumes). I’m still under recognizance not to leave the country; therefore my participation in the International Labour Conference, to be held on May 29-June 4 in Geneva, is in question," the leader of the REP Trade Union has added.

On April 17-19, Belarus was visited by the joint mission of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the Global Union IndustriALL. The mission expressed concern to the Belarusian government about the persecution of independent trade unions and workers' rights violations in Belarus. A separate issue at the talks was the criminal case against the REP leaders. Kemal Ozkan, Deputy Secretary General of the IndustriALL, said that the mission demanded from the Belarusian government to stop the criminal prosecution of REP leaders.

On August 2, 2017, the Department of Financial Investigations of the Belarusian KGB (Committee for State Security) conducted searches of the main REP office in Minsk and the office of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union (BNP) in Soligorsk. The leaders of the REP Trade Union were accused of especially large-scale tax evasion.

Igor Komlik spent two months behind bars; in the evening on October 2, 2017, he was released under recognizance not to leave.

The preliminary investigation of the criminal case was extended several times – the last deadline was May 1. The final charge against the leaders of the REP Trade Union was filed on May 8.

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