Anonymous letter says Kozulin is given poisoned water

The letter says that the substance was developed at a secret KGB laboratory in the Soviet era. It alleges that...

Aleksandr KozulinAn anonymous email received by BelaPAN on September 7 says that convicted politician Aleksandr Kozulin is given poisoned water at the detention center on Volodarskogo Street in central Minsk.

The email is signed by "a group of KGB officers" who claim that the detention center's sanitary officers have pledged not to disclose that the water is contaminated.

The letter says that the substance was developed at a secret KGB laboratory in the Soviet era. It alleges that the chemical can lead to the exacerbation of chronic diseases, immune disorders and disability in the long run.

When reached by BelaPAN, Dr. Kozulin's lawyer, Igor Rynkevich, said that only medical experts could confirm or deny the report.

However, he acknowledged that the condition of his client had sharply deteriorated. According to him, the politician has eyes problems and feels faint.

Dr. Kozulin underwent medical tests at the national prison hospital in Minsk a month earlier after he complained that his eyesight had deteriorated. He was reportedly diagnosed with osteochondritis and myopia.

The defense team intends to ask the hospital's administration once again to examine Dr. Kozulin.

Valery Nadtochayev, head of the Information and Public Relations Center of the Committee for State Security (KGB), told BelaPAN that the letter was "another provocation."

A deputy head of the detention center refused to comment to BelaPAN on the email.

Dr. Kozulin, 50, rector of Belarusian State University between 1996 and 2003, was sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison at the Moskovsky District Court on July 13.

The former presidential candidate was found guilty of hooliganism and the organization of group actions disturbing the public peace. The latter charge was brought in connection with the March 25 demonstration that ended in violence, with Almaz riot police officers beating protestors with truncheons.

The European Union and the United States denounced the trial as clearly politically motivated.