In camera: Ukrainian journalist accused of espionage on trial in Minsk

The trial of Ukrainian journalist Pavlo Sharoiko, whom the KGB accused of espionage, is underway, the Belarusian Association of Journalists reports with reference to Yuliya Lyaskova, a press officer of the Supreme Court.

It is unclear whether the hearing started today or last week. The trial is being held behind closed doors.

When asked why there have been no official report about the beginning of considering of such high-profile international case, Ms Lyaskova answered that Belarusian judges review 4,000 cases every day and she cannot know about each of them.

Interestingly, at the same time, a preliminary hearing of case of Belarusian citizen Yury Palityka, whom Ukraine’s Security Service charged with spying.

UA: Ukrainian Radio employee Pavlo Sharoiko was arrested in Minsk in late October.

According to the KGB spokesman Dzmitry Pabyarzhyn, Sharoiko, an officer of Ukraine’s military intelligence, worked undercover as a radio correspondent and created a spy network of the citizens of Belarus. Sharoiko’s work was coordinated by Ihor Skvortsov, who ‘acted under the guise of the Ukrainian embassy counselor in Belarus’, Pabyarzhyn said. Skvortsov was declared persona non grata and expelled from Belarus.

In late November, Sharoiko was accused of espionage. Ukrainian government agencies have repeatedly refuted the claim by the KGB of the alleged involvement of Pavlo Sharoiko in espionage and his being an intelligence officer., following