The trial in the case of Belgazprombank and its former CEO Viktor Babariko continues in the Moskovsky District Court. The prosecution was reading out 340 pages of indictments for two hours.
Viktor Babariko is accused of leading an organized criminal group from 2008 to 2020. He reportedly made sure that most of the members of the bank’s board were included in this group. Besides, the prosecution noted that since 2017 illegal funds have been regularly transferred to Babariko’s son accounts, although he was not a member of the group. The charge mentioned Latvian companies to whose accounts the money was allegedly transferred.
At some point, the court announced a break. Coordination Council member Maxim Bogretsov said: “During the breaks, several police officers stand up, face the defendants and simply block them: you cannot see what they are doing there. When we tried to show heart signs to Viktor Dmitrievich, he showed us something in response. Several people approached him and began to explain something, apparently that he is not allowed to gesture.”
Babariko’s lawyer Dmitry Laevsky said that he managed to show his client a photo of people who yesterday tried to get into a courtroom.
“During the break and before the meeting, we talked with Viktor Dmitrievich. I showed him printed photos of yesterday’s situation here. It’s one thing when you say that a lot of people came, and it is another to actually see it. He knows that people were standing in the cold, that they were not allowed to enter. He is very deeply touched, thanks for the support, and we, the defenders, also thank them,” said Laevsky.
Journalists of non-state Belarusian mass media outlets were not allowed into the courtroom again today. Laevsky said that there are empty seats in the courtroom, but people were not allowed to attend the hearing. There are 37 people – spectators and journalists – in the courtroom with a capacity of about 100 people. Yesterday afternoon there were only 66 people, including judges, prosecutors, defender and the accused.
Recall that at the first hearing, Babariko’s lawyers asked to disqualify Judge Igor Lyubovitsky, change their client’s restraint measure to house arrest, let journalists of independent media agencies and representatives of internet resources into the courtroom, and release some property. Almost all their applications were rejected. However, Viktor Babariko was allowed to gesture only when giving testimony.
There are eight defendants in the Belgazprombank case. Viktor Babariko is accused of “laundering” funds obtained by criminal means and receiving a bribe in large sums. Alexey Zadoiko (Belgazprombank’s former first deputy CEO), Kirill Baday (Belgazprombank’s acting chairman), Sergei Shaban (Belgazprombank’s Deputy CEO), Dmitry Kuzmich (Belgazprombank’s deputy CEO), Alexander Ilyasyuk (Belgazprombank’s deputy CEO), Sergei Dobrolet (Belgazprombank’s former deputy CEO) is accused of accepting a bribe in large sums. Viktor Kobyak (founder of Activleasing LLC) is accused of giving a bribe in an, especially large amount.
Plea-bargaining agreements on cooperation have been concluded with Badey, Dobrolet, Kuzmich, Ilyasyuk, Shaban, and Kobyak. Viktor Babariko is not among them, therefore he is not at the preliminary court session today. The defendants, who entered into the plea agreements, stated in court that they volunteered to do so and fulfilled all the conditions. A team of more than ten lawyers are defending the accused, among them are Anna Keller, Maxim Ageev, Alexander Pavlovets, Sergei Buyakevich.