10 Oct 2018 10:58

Detentions in BelTA case aimed at preventing evidence destruction - Belarusian Investigative Committee

MINSK. Oct 10 (Interfax) - The Belarusian Investigative Committee has disclosed details of the so-called BelTA case in a statement posted on Facebook.

"Further be advised that the Investigative Committee is holding a criminal inquiry into the illegal access to computer information of the news agency BelTA. [...] The inquiry has uncovered multiple facts of illegal access to BelTA's paid services," the statement said.

Paid services of the agency were illegally accessed for two years, in 2017 and 2018, without the knowledge and consent of BelTA. The subscription was not paid for, and no relevant contract was signed, it said.

Persons who illegally accessed BelTA services were identified and taken into custody before they could destroy evidence, the Investigative Committee said.

"Urgent investigative procedures were held consistent with current Belarusian laws, and the suspects were detained. The Belarusian Criminal Code of Practice allows for such measures. [...] The investigators were probing all suspects at the same time and collected evidence that could have been destroyed otherwise," the statement said.

"The energetic activity of the investigators in the period of detentions enabled them to complete every procedure within a brief period of time and release the suspects from custody," the statement said.