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Investigation Of Belarusian Activist's Case 'Nearing Completion'

Mikhas Bashura (file photo)

Mikhas Bashura (file photo)

MINSK -- The criminal investigation involving Belarusian activist Mikhas Bashura may be completed next week, his lawyer has told RFE/RL's Belarus Service.

Bashura, 35, is an active participant in the "Tell the Truth" campaign. He was arrested on August 6 and charged earlier this week with fraud.

According to Minsk officials, he lied to a local bank about his income in 2008 when helping his wife get a mortgage.

Bashura's lawyer, Tamara Sidarenka, told RFE/RL that the investigation might be completed by August 26. That means the case would be tried by a Minsk court in the nearest future, she added.

She also said that Bashura's relatives were not allowed to visit him in the pretrial detention center.

Sidarenka said previously her client submitted some incorrect data to the bank by mistake, but that it was unintentional and so he didn't consider himself guilty.

Tell the Truth activists say Bashura's case is politically motivated and connected with his participation in the campaign.

The Tell the Truth campaign was organized by the Moving Forward movement, which is led by Uladzimir Nyaklyaeu. It encourages Belarusians to speak out about social problems.

If found guilty, Bashura could be jailed for up to three years.