The Belarusan KGB and Prosecutor’s Office announced yesterday that they are extending by another 30 days the pretrial investigation of the Russian ORT Television team, which has been charged with criminal conspiracy to violate the state border. The legal deadline for completing the investigation and opening the trial was yesterday, 60 days after the July 25 arrest of the team. Its leader, Pavel Sheremet, remains in KGB detention, while the other two members are being held at the authorities’ disposal.
The defense regards the extension as a sign that the prosecution is short of evidence and needs time to come up with more. Former Constitutional Court chairman Valery Tsikhinya and another former justice of the same court joined the defense team yesterday. (Russian agencies, RTR, September 25) The Constitutional Court had invalidated some 20 decrees of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka before being forcibly dissolved by him last November.
High-Level Azerbaijani Delegation Pays Unusual Visit to Moscow.