Election-2020: Yet another potential opponent of Lukashenka under police’s radar

The Belarusian Interior Ministry has launched a probe into ‘illegal activities’ in which wannabe presidential candidate Valery Tsapkala was allegedly involved.

In order to conduct an investigation procedure, the Interior Ministry received materials from the Prosecutor General’s Office on the basis of a Turkish citizen’s report about the facts of Tsapkala’s illegal activity. The check is being carried out now,” the ministry’s spokesperson Volha Chamadanava told TUT.BY.

By the moment, the investigators have not summoned or contacted the former head of Belarus’ Hi Tech Park, Tsapkala’s press secretary Alyaxei Urban told belsat.eu.

Valery and Veranika Tsapkala / Belsat.eu

Earlier, a photo of the complaint of Turkish businessman and investor Sedat Igdedzhi was published on TG channel Paparator which is known for its links to security forces. Mr Igdedzhi claims that Tsapkala repeatedly solicited bribes from him. According to the complaint, the Turkish citizen allegedly handed over more than $1 mln to Tsapkala in 2011-2015; certain sums were transferred through offshore companies in Cyprus.

In his complaint, Sedat Igdedzhi also retails rumours concerning the private (including sexual) life of the potential presidential hopeful. In addition, he says that Tsapkala and his men allegedly started blackmailing the businessman in June.

Prosecutor General Alyaksandr Kanyuk hands over the case to Interior Minister Yury Karayev. Photo: TG channel Paparator

Notably, incumbent president Alyaksandr Lukashenka hinted that the authorities had sort of black books on Valery Tsapkala as far back as early May.

He refuses to say why the president fired him. But it is you who should ask him why I fired him. I want him to tell the truth. If he did so, he would not be willing to run for presidency anymore. But he will not be honest. If it is necessary, we will reveal the information, but at the moment, we do not want to deal with these compromising materials,” he said.

Valery Tsapkala’s house. Photo: Belsat.eu

Valery Tsapkala, a founder of Belarusian High Tech Park and a former ambassador of Belarus to the United States, revealed his presidential ambitions in May. He said he sold his house to be able to finance his election campaign. Later, on June 4, Lukashenka claimed the sake was not without ‘scheming’.

As reported earlier, Lukashenka’s would be rival Viktar Babaryka, might-have been opponent Syarhei Tsikhanouski, politicians Mikalai Statkevich and Pavel Sevyarynets, as well as dozens of people have been placed into custody since the beginning of the 2020 election campaign. According to the human rights centre Viasna, more than 360 people were detained at the rallies of solidarity with the arrested (as well as before and after the rallies) which were held throughout the country from 18 to 21 June.

Valer Tsapkala: Nobody has right to be above law