Case against deceased journalist Ales Lipai closed

The Belarusian Investigative Committee stopped the preliminary investigation into the case of prominent Belarusian journalist and media manager Ales Lipai.

According to BelaPAN, the corresponding document dates from September, 12.

Ales Lipai, the founder and director general of BelaPAN, the only independent news agency in Belarus, suddenly passed away on August, 23 in Minsk. He was 52 years old.

Two weeks prior to his death, several BelaPAN journalists were detained over the so-called BelTA copyright infringement case.

In 1988, Ales Lipai became the first reporter of Radio Liberty in Belarus. He was a member of the Union of Belarusian Writers and the Belarusian PEN Center. His first book of poetry, Under the Snow, was published in 2000. In 2007, The Rest was released.

In June 2018, the home of Ales Lipai was raided by the finance police. Lipai was suspected of tax evasion. After the seven-hour search, Lipai was taken for questioning and then released. The head of the news agency admitted his violating the law and paid taxes and penalties. However, the finance police was set to ‘clarify the circumstances of his receiving money’. Many compared the situation to the persecution of leaders of the Belarusian independent trade union movement and the case of human rights defender Ales Byalyatski.