Belarusian KGB and the murder of Sheremet. Antonenko’s defense statement in connection with Makar-Zaitsev’s tapes

We present you an official statement by Andriy Antonenko’s defense counsel regarding the publication  of the tapes with recordings allegedly from the office of Belarusian KGB Chairman Vadym Zaitsev about a direct order by the President of the Republic of Belarus in 2012 to assassinate Pavlo Sheremet.

The National Police has issued a statement regarding this, saying that the version of the perpetrators of this crime (Mr. Antonenko, Dugar, Kuzmenko) is not altered. Police say they received the relevant tapes from the Foreign Intelligence Service in December and are now investigating this version of the insignators.

It will be recalled that in the indictment in the case of Mr. Antonenko, Dugar, and Kuzmenko, the motive for the murder was worded as follows.

During 2016, unidentified persons whose materials were separated in a severance proceeding decided to create a highly resonant event aimed at further provoking numerous protests. The most effective option for the implementation of the above was the organization of an intentional crime related to the murder of one of the public figures on the territory of Kyiv.

Excerpt from the indictment in the criminal proceedings № 12020000000000490 dated 22.05.2020. Underlined text: “[acting] for a number of personal reasons [decided] to create a highly resonant event aimed at further provoking numerous protests”.

Defense counsel’s statement

  1. Information published by Igor Makar about the preparation of the political assassination of Pavlo Sheremet by the KGB in Belarus needs to be carefully checked. We hope that the competent authorities of European countries will do it, not Ukrainian counterfeiters. The defense is already working in this direction.
  2. It should be reminded that the “Belarusian footprint” should be the highest priority of the investigation, taking into account the political position of Pavlo Sheremet, especially considering that the murder took place on July 20 – the anniversary of first  Alexander Lukashenko’s inauguration in 1994 which according to media reports he celebrates unofficially every year. If the information is confirmed, it completely destroys the insane version of the prosecution  about unknown individuals who focused on “volunteer groups” during the selection of performers with low moral qualities. During the first speech for the defense counsel Mr. Kruhovyi stated that the prosecution’s versions were quite similar to the behavior of an exposed sharper, who consistently puts forward contradictory and somewhat funny theories to justify his own fraud.
  3. Having carefully studied all the “evidence” presented by the investigation, the defense claims, based on the available materials, that the version of the involvement of the Belarusian special services was not investigated before or considered at all. Moreover, it was also constantly neglected by the minister and his deputies, police chiefs, prosecutors and investigators during their propaganda statements and speeches to lawmakers and on TV shows, trying their best to divert the public from this version. Russia, PTSD, extremism, and schizophrenia of the performers were heard, but there was no mention of Belarus. This inevitably suggests that if the involvement of the Belarusian secret services in this murder is confirmed, it begs the question whether the leaders of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the National Police deliberately covered both perpetrators and instigators, pointing to knowingly uninvolved persons and false versions of the motive just like it was done at the beginning of the investigation of Kateryna Gandziuk murder.
  4. The National Police of Ukraine and representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs   disseminated false information today saying that the alleged “Belarusian version” of the assassins was new to them and that it did not contradict the accusations made by Mr. Antonenko, Mr. Dugar, and Mr. Kuzmenko. However, this is obvious misinformation. Firstly, there are no even remote hints in the case of the defendants’ connection with any special services, including foreign ones. Secondly, the prosecution calls the goal of the organizers of the crime “the creation of an extremely resonant event in Ukrainian society with the aim of further provoking numerous protests.” This is in no way in line with the version published today in Brussels.

Defenders of Andriy Antonenko 

Dmytro Kruhovyi

Vitaliy Galenchenko

Stanislav Kulyk

It will be recalled that according to the indictment, the best perpetrators of murders with low moral qualities are volunteers.

Fragment of the indictment in criminal proceedings № 12020000000000490 dated 22.05.2020. The propensity of volunteers to act violently. Underlined text: 1) “[to kill] one of the public  figures” 2) “decided to engage… individuals from among volunteer groups” 3) “[by criteria] of propensity of persons by volitional traits to violent actions, low moral and psychological qualities” 4) “the following individuals responded for personal reasons”


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