Financial police search home of BelaPAN Director General Ales Lipay

The Minsk home of Ales Lipay, the founder and director general of BelaPAN, was raided and searched Thursday by officers of the Financial Investigations Department of the State Control Committee.

The department’s officers came to Mr. Lipay’s apartment at about 7 a.m. He immediately called prominent human rights defender Ales Byalyatski and did not open the door for the visitors until Mr. Byalyatski arrived.

The officers produced a search warrant signed by the city prosecutor and explained that the search would be conducted in connection with the investigation of a criminal case.

As Mr. Byalyatski told BelaPAN, he asked the officers to use him as a search witness, but they refused. A lawyer for Mr. Lipay was also denied entry into the apartment.

The search was still underway as of 2 p.m.

Yury Kardymon, spokesman for the Financial Investigations Department told BelaPAN that he could not say anything about the case for the time being.

Meanwhile, BelaPAN’s staff continued to work as usual.