On March 10, a high-profile corruption trial started in a court in Minsk. Andrey Utsyuryn, a former deputy secretary of state of Belarus’ Security Council, is one of the defendants. He had previously headed Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s Security Service for nearly eight years.
On the second day of the trial, Utsyuryn has pleaded guilty of receiving bribe money (at least $192,000) and abetting in bribery.
A total of 16 persons, including representatives of state agencies, are on the dock; they are accused of corrupt practices that took place during the purchase and supply of computer equipment and communication systems. In the course of the investigation, about $ 1.65 mln, €62,000 and over 1 kg of gold were seized.
In April 2019, Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka signed a decree on the dismissal of Colonel Andrey Utsyuryn from the post of State Secretary of the Security Council. The document notes that Utsyuryn was dismissed ‘for committing offenses that discredit the dignity of a military serviceman’.
“Utsyurin is one of Lukashenka’s most long-time and loyal cronies, he had worked as his security officer since 1995. Over the past 25 years Andrey Utsyuryn has been part of Lukashenka’s inner circle, his family’s yes-man. The president’s youngest son Kolya literally grew up under his wing,” Rosbalt quoted a source in the Belarusian security agencies.
Andrey Utsyuryn took the position of Head of the presidential security service in in 2007. In 2014, he left the post and became Deputy Secretary of the Security Council of Belarus.
Independent media called Utsyuryn ‘Lukashenka’s faithful guardsman’ and one of the most influential persons in the country.