Polish Prosecutor’s Office is considering the request of Belarus to extradite the creators of NEXTA

The Polish prosecutor’s office received from the Investigative Committee (IC) of Belarus documents for the extradition from the republic of the founder of the Telegram channel NEXTA Stepan Putilo and his former editor-in-chief Roman Protasevich. This was announced on Tuesday to a TASS correspondent in the press service of the Polish Prosecutor General’s Office.

Polish Prosecutor's Office is considering the request of Belarus to extradite the creators of NEXTA

“The documents concerning the request of the Belarusian authorities for the extradition of two Belarusian citizens were transferred to the relevant prosecutor’s office for processing in accordance with the provisions of the agreement between Poland and Belarus on legal assistance and legal relations in civil, family, labor and criminal cases of October 26, 1994. The case is pending”, – the press service said.

Protasevich and Putilo in 2015 created the NEXTA channel on YouTube, and in 2017 they began to maintain a channel on Telegram. After August 9, 2020, when the presidential elections were held in Belarus, their Telegram channel became one of the main platforms for opponents of the elected head of state.

The Supreme Court of Belarus on October 20, 2020 reported that the Telegram channel NEXTA and its logo were recognized as extremist materials in the republic, and charges were brought against Putilo and Protasevich of organizing mass riots and group actions associated with disobeying the legal requirements of government officials, as well as in the incitement of social enmity and discord. As part of the criminal case, a measure of restraint was applied to them in the form of detention, both were put on the wanted list.

According to the head of the international legal department of the Investigative Committee of Belarus, Mikhail Vavulo, Belarus will pay attention to how Poland will fulfill its obligations to extradite persons whom the Investigative Committee is prosecuting. Earlier, the KGB of Belarus included Putilo and Protasevich in the list of individuals involved in terrorism.

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