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28 May 2021, 18:16

Belarus to request legal aid from Switzerland in Ryanair flight ‘bombing' investigation

MINSK, 28 May (BelTA) – The Investigative Committee will send a request for legal aid to the prosecution service of Switzerland as part of the investigation into the “bombing” of Ryanair's Athens-Vilnius flight, representatives of the Minsk city branch of the Investigative Committee of Belarus told BelTA.

According to the source, the Minsk city branch of the Investigative Committee is currently investigating the “bombing” of the Athens-Vilnius flight. For the last few days destructive and extremist channels as well as various Internet resources and Western mass media have been spreading incomplete and unverified information designed to manipulate the public opinion to suit their own interests. The Minsk city branch of the Investigative Committee urges the general public not to popularize insinuations and cynical conjectures. “We believe that assumptions that someone has a monopoly on truth are unacceptable until the preliminary investigation is over. Rest assured the Investigative Committee is more than interested in ascertaining true and factual circumstances. All the facts and versions without an exception are being looked into in an objective, unbiased, and professional manner,” the investigators said.

It has already been ascertained that several messages about “a bomb” planted on the aircraft were sent through the Swiss anonymous mail service ProtonMail (at 12:25 and 12:56). Records of the talks with the aircraft pilots are being examined and analyzed in detail. Other multiple investigative actions are being taken as well.

“The Investigative Committee is fully ready and open to interaction with interested and authorized international organizations, which investigate this incident. To confirm the consistency of the intentions the investigation team has already prepared and will soon send a request for legal aid to prosecution bodies of Switzerland,” the source said. The Belarusian investigators would like to know more about the user of the email account, which was used to send the message about “the bomb”. The Minsk city branch of the Investigative Committee noted that ProtonMail has repeatedly appeared in criminal cases relating to threats of terrorist attacks and explosions at various Belarusian infrastructure installations. This is why work is in progress to request more information from Switzerland about all the ProtonMail messages about false bombs that law enforcement bodies have noticed. Fourteen such incidents have already been registered so far this year.

Over 200 criminal cases into false bombings of over 1,000 infrastructure assets in Belarus were opened in the last two years, including 15 criminal cases into the “bombing” of the Minsk National Airport and various aircraft. “We would like to note that both Belarusian and foreign aircraft have been ‘bombed' multiple times,” the source added.

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