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In Belarus, criminal charges of espionage against a Catholic priest were dropped due to lack of evidence. The deputy head of a Christian party in Belarus stated that he believed the entire case had merely been an attempt to intimidate the Catholic Church.

By Olga Glace

6/12/2014 Belarus (Forum 18) – The KGB secret police has dropped the criminal case of espionage against Fr Vladislav Lazar due to lack of evidence, Pavel Severinets, Deputy Head of the Christian Democratic Party, told Forum 18 from Minsk on 11 June. He said he doubted that the abandonment of the case will be officially announced, maintaining that it will be suppressed as “it’s a failure of the KGB.” The state has made no apologies to Fr Lazar, he added.

“Who is responsible for the imprisonment of an innocent person without informing his family and for blackening his good name?” Severinets asked. “The so-called ‘criminal case’ has fallen apart without reaching the court.” He is convinced that the criminal case against Fr Lazar was an attempt to intimidate the Catholic Church.

The KGB arrested Fr Lazar, priest of the Descent of the Holy Spirit parish in Borisov [Barysaw] in Minsk Region, on espionage charges on 31 May 2013. They detained him for six months in the KGB Investigation Prison in Minsk before transferring him to house arrest.

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