Roman Pratasevich, who is involved in the same case with them and is officially under house arrest in Belarus, is not mentioned in the release.

On December 30, the Prosecutor General's Office sent to court the criminal case against the authors of the Nexta telegram channel Pratasevich, Putila and Rudzik.

The defendant was charged with a number of charges, including:

  • Inciting social enmity and enmity;

  • organization of mass riots, training and other training of persons to participate in them;

  • public calls for seizure of state power, acts of terrorism, other actions aimed at harming national security;

  • creation of an extremist formation and its leadership;

  • slander and public insult of the president.

Putil and Rudzik were also charged with committing the following crimes in different combinations:

  • conspiracy to seize state power by unconstitutional means;

  • financing of extremist activities;

  • discrediting the Republic of Belarus.

Putila was also charged with organizing the activities of a terrorist organization.

When the criminal case was sent to the court, the Prosecutor General's Office "in the interest of the state" filed a claim to cover the defendants' property damage in the total amount of more than 30 million rubles.

It is reported that a "special investigation" was conducted in connection with Putila and Rudik, who are abroad.

Protasevich, who was detained after the forced landing in Minsk on May 23, 2021 of a plane headed from Athens to Vilnius, fully fulfilled the terms of the pre-trial cooperation agreement concluded with him and is under house arrest.

Rudik reacted ironically to the message of the Prosecutor General's Office in his Telegram channel: "I fully admit my guilt and pay 15 million bucks (in absentia).

For myself and for the children.

Please drop the charges.

Tired of sitting in absentia."

What you need to know about absentee courts in Belarus

  • As the authorities explain, "special proceedings are the conduct of a criminal case against an accused who is outside the borders of the Republic of Belarus and avoids appearing before the body conducting the criminal proceedings."

  • In July 2022, Alexander Lukashenko signed a law on changes to the Criminal Procedure Code, which allow Belarusians abroad to be tried in absentia because they left the country, fearing torture and criminal prosecution for political reasons.

  • On September 27, it became known who is included in the first list for the court in absentia.

    All of them are considered by the authorities to be administrators of the "Black Book of Belarus" telegram channel.

  • On December 12, the first trial in absentia began in Belarus: five defendants in the "Black Book of Belarus" case were summoned to the Minsk City Court on December 12 at 10:00.

  • The first list for trial in absentia included the editor of the recognized "extremist" TG channel "Punishers of Belarus" and YouTube channel "Wild Hunt" Yanina Sazanovich, employee of "Black Book of Belarus" Danila Bagdanovich, creator of the sports portal and media manager Dmitri Navoshka, as well as Olga Vysotskaya and Valeria Zanyamonskaya.

    The authorities consider them administrators of the Telegram channel "Black Book of Belarus".

  • Similar cases were also started against Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, Pavel Latushka, Olga Kovalkova, Sergei Dileuski, Maria Moroz, as well as participants and heads of the Belarusian Sports Solidarity Fund, the human rights center "Vyasna", the Nexta telegram channel, the Coordination Council, Valero Tsapkala.

  • Also, special proceedings were initiated against the well-known sportswoman, Olympic medalist in swimming Alexandra Gerasimeni and the executive director of the Belarusian Sports Solidarity Fund Alexander Apeykin.

    On December 26, 2022, they were sentenced to 12 years in prison for calling for the postponement of sports tournaments.

  • On January 18, 2023, verdicts were handed down in the "ChKB case".

    Sazanovich, Bogdanovich, Navosh, Vysotskaya and Zanyamonskaya were each sentenced to 12 years in prison.

    Fines in the amount of 500 basic values ​​were also awarded to each of the participants.

    The KGB added the persons involved in the case to the "terrorist list".

    The trial lasted a little over a month behind closed doors.