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4.12.2013

Yury Barok: Case of Lazar is provocation by security services 8

12:55, — Politics

Yury Barok: Case of Lazar is provocation by security services

The Belarusian Catholic Church declines to comment on the release of priest Lazar from the KGB pre-trial detention facility.

Yury Sanko, a spokesman for the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Belarus, refers to the news from the Apostolic Nunciature in the Republic of Belarus posted on the website catholic.by.

Priest Yury Barok spoke to Radio Svaboda about it:

I saw the news on the internet yesterday evening. Of course, it made me happy. It was a surprise. I am happy such surprises happen.

Did you believe it would happen?

You know, I didn't have hopes after he had spent three months in custody. I supposed he would be in jail for a period of investigation. Priests didn't believe he would be convicted. Or they think this term in the pre-trial detention facility will be considered as a part of his prison term. The KGB cannot drop charges, because it would look strange. The KGB will discredit itself in this case. I thought he would be held in custody for some time. It was a surprise that he was released. It's pleasant to see that the situation develops under another scenario. This opinion proves what I said two or three months ago, just after charges had been brought against him officially. I said the accusations were ridiculous. They failed to make priest Lazar admit the charges.

How well do you know priest Lazar?

We studied together in the seminary in Hrodna. We even shared a room for some time, so I know him well. We met from time to time later, when he worked as a priest. I'd like to see him, talk and support him. I'd like to repeat what I said at the very beginning. It is a provocation organised by the security services. Their accusations are absolutely absurd. They have no grounds. The case is falling apart. I'd like to see him and express my support and solidarity.

Priest Lazar was reported yesterday to have been released from the KGB pre-trial detention facility. He was released under his own recognizance.

Lukashenka said in July 26 about the arrest of an officer of the Belarusian security services working for foreign states through representatives of the Catholic Church. The security officer didn't only gave information, his activity harmed the people who work abroad, he said. Priest Uladzislau Lazar was reported to have been detained later.

Priest from Barysau Uladzislau Lazar was arrested in late May and thrown into the KGB pre-trial detention facility. The top officials of the Catholic Church were informed three months later that the priest was accused of giving money to a persons suspected of spying against Belarus.

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