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12 May 2022, 14:22

Investigative Committee: Poland and Lithuania refuse to extradite criminal suspects to Belarus

MINSK, 12 May (BelTA) – Poland has refused to extradite the head of the informal organization NEXTA Stepan Putilo to Belarus and Lithuania has refused the extradition of the former presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, BelTA learned from Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Belarus Dmitry Gora.

According to Dmitry Gora, Belarus sent a request for the extradition of Stepan Putilo to Poland back in November 2020. Stepan Putilo was accused of inciting racial, national, and religious enmity and discord, of organizing mass riots and other crimes. The official refusal was sent to Belarus only in February 2022. Poland refused Belarus' request on the wording that doing so could damage the sovereignty and security, rights and legitimate interests of citizens or runs contrary to the fundamental principles of the effective legislation, the official said. Lithuania refused to extradite Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who is accused of committing a number of serious crimes, including conspiracy for the sake of taking over the state authority.

Dmitry Gora presented a bill on amending the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Belarus at a session of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly on 12 May.

Dmitry Gora said: “The development of the bill has been prompted by the need to ensure an adequate response to modern challenges and threats to national security, including the need to ensure the unconditional prosecution of criminals. Since foreign countries steadily refuse to extradite suspects, who have committed crimes in Belarus, and refuse to honor international commitments regarding the provision of legal aid in criminal cases, it is necessary to legislate conditions for bringing to justice criminal prosecution evaders.”

The House of Representatives of the National Assembly gave the first reading to the bill on 12 May.

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