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Lukashenko supports proposal to allow criminal proceedings in absentia

Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has upheld the proposal to allow criminal proceedings in absentia against the accused living abroad. The respective bill has already been developed and will soon be sent to the House of Representatives, Chairman of the Investigative Committee Dmitry Gora told reporters following the Security Council meeting chaired by the head of state on 8 February, BelTA has learned.

According to Dmitry Gora, a number of countries, in particular Poland and Lithuania, have recently been refusing to extradite persons who committed crimes on the territory of Belarus (including extremist crimes) and who continue their criminal activities. “In order to implement the principle of the inevitability of punishment, it was proposed to allow trial in absentia in criminal cases if the extradition was denied or the request for extradition was left unanswered,” Dmitry Gora explained. He added that the bill guarantees the rights of the accused and complies with the standards that are in effect in European countries and the CIS countries where trial in absentia is practiced.

“The implementation of this bill will help ensure the inevitability of punishment and claim compensation for the damage done by persons who have committed criminal offenses. I think that this will also have a fairly good preventive effect,” the head of the Investigative Committee said.

“The head of state supported the proposal and in the near future the bill will be forwarded to the Council of Ministers for submission to the House of Representatives of the National Assembly,” the head of the Investigative Committee said.

Source: BelTA.