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  • Investigative Committee Opens Criminal Case Against Blogger Anton Motolko

    The Investigative Committee of Belarus believes that blogger Anton Motolko is involved in a number of crimes, the press service of the agency reports.

    The Inves­tiga­tive Com­mit­tee con­tin­ues to inves­ti­gate a crim­i­nal case opened over the riots that took place in Min­sk last year. The agency claims that the inves­ti­ga­tors obtained evi­dence about the involve­ment of blog­ger Anton Motolko in a num­ber of crimes:

    • mass riots (Art. 293 and Art. 342);

    • incite­ment of social enmi­ty on the basis of pro­fes­sion­al affil­i­a­tion (part 3 of arti­cle 130);

    • cre­ation of an extrem­ist group (part 1 of arti­cle 3611);

    • actions aimed at desta­bi­liz­ing ф socio-polit­i­cal, eco­nom­ic and infor­ma­tion­al sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try, caus­ing harm to the nation­al secu­ri­ty of the Repub­lic of Belarus (part 3 of arti­cle 361).

    The Inves­tiga­tive Com­mit­tee not­ed that Motolko was engaged in “incit­ing social hos­til­i­ty towards rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the author­i­ties and law enforce­ment offi­cers, since July 2020, through the telegram chan­nel cre­at­ed and man­aged by him.”

    “At the moment, evi­dence has already been obtained that tes­ti­fies to the com­mis­sion of Motolko actions aimed at desta­bi­liz­ing the socio-polit­i­cal, eco­nom­ic and infor­ma­tion­al sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try, caus­ing harm to the nation­al secu­ri­ty of the Repub­lic of Belarus. These actions were per­formed via a telegram chan­nel man­aged by him. In addi­tion, act­ing in a pre­lim­i­nary con­spir­a­cy with uniden­ti­fied per­sons, while out­side the coun­try, in order to car­ry out ille­gal activ­i­ties, Motolko unit­ed extrem­ist groups (so-called court­yard chats), he has cre­at­ed and leads an extrem­ist group,” the depart­ment added.

    In the near future, a deci­sion will be made against Anton Motolko to pros­e­cute him for all the above crimes, after which he will be put on the inter­state want­ed list.

    This is how Anton Motolko him­self react­ed to the news: “On 9 July, I left Belarus. I had to do that at the urgent request of my col­leagues, who feared I may be arrest­ed (as it hap­pened with Igor Losik on 25 June). Actu­al­ly, one of the main rea­sons why I almost nev­er called peo­ple to take to the streets, do oth­er things –  because I myself was not in Belarus. There­fore, my mis­sion was to dis­sem­i­nate infor­ma­tion, inves­ti­gate and col­lect insid­er infor­ma­tion (with their sub­se­quent ver­i­fi­ca­tion). And I will con­tin­ue to do so. I am ready to answer for all my actions before the court. But it will be an objec­tive and inde­pen­dent court in New Belarus. And the last thing. I love Belarus and do my best to return home as soon as pos­si­ble.”

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