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An investigation into the contamination of rivers Dzitva and Nioman is resumed in Lida district

An investigation into the contamination of rivers Dzitva and Nioman is resumed in Lida district

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The criminal case over the pollution of river Dzitva has been resumed, replied Lida District Prosecutor S. Dmukhouski to the appeal of the Movement For Freedom (MFF) Hrodna Region Coordinator Vitold Ashurak.

Ashurak appealed to the Prosecutor’s Office demanding to find those responsible for the contamination of rivers Dzitva and Nioman. A criminal case was opened based on this fact, but it was soon discontinued.

“In accordance with the requirements of Article 138 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the actions and decisions of the authority conducting criminal proceedings may be appealed against in due course by the participants of the criminal proceedings, as well as by other individuals, if the procedural actions and decisions carried out affect their interests,” informed Dmukhouski.

He stated right away, however, that in this case, Ashurak cannot be considered a person who “has the right to appeal against the actions and decisions” of the Investigative Committee.

“Additionally, please, be informed that, on March 19, Deputy Head of Hrodna Region Investigative Committee Directorate has cancelled the order on suspension of the preliminary investigation into the criminal case on the pollution of river Dzitva, and the criminal case has been resumed,” informed the official.

“With no exaggeration, a crime was committed in the case of the contamination of Dzitva and Nioman in the summer of 2019, and it requires appropriate punishment. But there is a conflict of interests here — someone must be punished, but the authorities are reluctant to punish ‘their people’! This reluctance could have easily prevailed, but... not in 2020 — not in the year of the presidential election,” commented Ashurak on the Prosecutor’s Office’s reply.

According to him, his team and he have been monitoring the sentiments of Lida district public, and know for sure that “people are eager for the just punishment of the perpetrators guilty of wastewater discharge by the state-owned Lida Housing and Utility Company.”

“That’s why we appealed to Lida Prosecutor’s Office. The Prosecutor’s Office’s reply satisfied us — the criminal case has been resumed. We will keep this issue under control,” said MFF Hrodna Region Coordinator.

He also noted that the Prosecutor’s Office did not consider him a person who could appeal against the Investigative Committee’s actions.

“This demarche only makes me smile — Am I no longer a Belarusian citizen and a resident of Lida district that an environmental disaster does not affect my interests?” asked Ashurak, noting that Lida Prosecutor’s Office confused an appeal for inspection and appealing against a criminal case.

“Well, thank God we are in the same ‘weight category’ with Lida Prosecutor’s Office,” concluded the MFF activist.

Author: Volha Bykouskaya

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