The case is also opened against Pavel Latushko. Amid the protests after the elections in Belarus, the opposition created a new body for the peaceful transfer of power, and in the summer Tikhanovskaya’s office received diplomatic status in Lithuania
A representative of the Investigative Committee of Belarus, Sergei Kabakovich, said that a new criminal case had been opened against the leader of the local opposition, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, and the former Minister of Culture of the country, Pavel Latushko. They were suspected of unauthorized assignment of rank or power (Article 382 of the Criminal Code of Belarus, provides for up to two years in prison).
“The accused Tikhanovskaya and Latushko, in coordination with other participants of the conspiracy in violation of the requirements of the Constitution of Belarus, created pseudo-bodies of state power and offices and representative offices of the Republic of Belarus abroad. And, continuing their criminal actions, they entered into negotiations with representatives of foreign states and international organizations,” he quotes Zerkalo.io, a project of a team of journalists blocked in the country Tut.by.
Other criminal cases have also been initiated in the relations of Tikhanovskaya and Latushko in Belarus. In particular, they are accused of creating and leading an extremist society, calling for the overthrow or change of the constitutional order of Belarus or committing crimes against the state, conspiracy to seize power unconstitutionally and attempted act of terrorism. Tikhanovskaya is also being investigated for preparing for mass riots.
In the presidential elections of Belarus, which took place in August 2020, Tikhanovskaya was a single candidate from the opposition. According to the CEC, she lost to the current President of the Republic Alexander Lukashenko with a result of 10.1% against 80.1%, respectively. Tikhanovskaya’s headquarters did not recognize the results of the presidential election and demanded a peaceful transfer of power; mass protests began in the republic. Lukashenka said that they were led from abroad, and ruled out falsification of the voting results.
After the elections, the opposition created a new body for the peaceful transfer of power – the coordinating council. However, its activities in the republic were declared illegal, and most of the participants were detained or arrested. In this connection, Tihanovskaya left for Latvia, Latushko for Poland. The Belarusian authorities have stated their intention to seek the extradition of both.
In July, Tikhanovskaya’s office received diplomatic status in Lithuania. “This means that the Belarusian people now have an official representation in the EU countries,” it said.
In Minsk, in turn, Vilnius’ decision to assign diplomatic status to Tikhanovskaya’s office was called ridiculous. “Lithuania’s decision continues a series of ridiculous and openly hostile steps taken recently by official Vilnius, directly contradicting the spirit and level of good-neighborly relations and undermining bilateral cooperation,” the Belarusian Foreign Ministry said. In response, the ministry announced a decision to reduce to a minimum the diplomatic representation of Lithuania in Belarus.
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