The former candidate for the presidency of Belarus and the former head of Belgazprombank Viktor Babariko, sentenced to 14 years in a bribe case, was sent to correctional colony No. 1 in Novopolotsk. About it reported in the Telegram channel of his former campaign headquarters.
On July 6, Babariko was sentenced to 14 years in prison. He was found guilty under two articles of the Criminal Code – accepting a bribe on an especially large scale (part 3 of article 430 of the Criminal Code) and legalizing funds obtained by criminal means (part 2 of article 235 of the Criminal Code).
According to the prosecution, Babariko, being the head of Belgazprombank, “created an organized group from among his deputies” to receive bribes from businessmen. The total amount of funds allegedly received by him was 30.5 million Belarusian rubles (more than $ 11.5 million). Babariko became the only one in the Belgazprombank case who refused to admit guilt for all the episodes brought by the charge.
The defendants in the same case, Sergei Shaban and Dmitry Kuzmich, were sentenced by the Moskovsky district court of Minsk to 6.5 and 6 years in prison, respectively. Alexander Ilyasyuk, Sergei Dobrolet and Kirill Badey – up to 5.5.
Earlier, in a conversation with The Insider, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya’s international affairs adviser Franak Vyachorka stressedthat the trial of Babariko is the most important, demonstrative and decisive in the entire Belarusian “judicial conveyor”. According to Vyachorka, it is from the court’s decision and the behavior of the authorities that it will become clear whether they are ready for negotiations and concessions.
Viktor Babariko was detained in the summer of 2020 at the height of the election campaign after he collected the necessary signatures for his candidacy. Instead of the prescribed 100 thousand, the volunteers of Babariko’s headquarters in a short time collected a record 435 thousand signatures for Belarus, the authenticity of which was recognized by the country’s CEC. Then Babariko was presented accusation in the framework of the Belgazprombank case. Later, his son Eduard was also charged. The initiation of a criminal case and arrest prevented Viktor Babariko from participating in the presidential elections against Alexander Lukashenko.
In his program, the ex-candidate called the last elections the last chance for Belarus, promised to carry out economic reforms and attract investors from the EU and Russia to the country without additional integration into the Union State. The bank, which he headed before participating in the elections and arrest, is a subsidiary of the Russian Gazprombank.