Former officer with the Belarusian spec-ops forces Igor Makar who has recently made public audio recordings alleging the involvement of the Belarusian top security leadership in the elimination of political dissidents, including the assassination in a car blast in Kyiv of journalist Pavel Sheremet, says the Ukrainian special services were warned about the preparation of the crime back in 2012.
In an interview with the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, he said he had sent the recordings of the conversation of April 11, 2012, as well as all the information with the names, to the U.S. diplomats. On the tapes, ex-KGB head in Belarus Vadim Zaitsev, together with the two officers with the Alpha anti-terrorist special squad, planned the murder of at least four Belarusian citizens who were abroad, including Pavel Sheremet.
During the interview, Makar said his friend, former head of the Minsk detention center Oleg Alkaev, whose murder had also been discussed on the tape, was called from the German criminal police and recommended not to leave the country, and was also offered security. The latter lived in Berlin. It means the information about the recording probably came to all countries where the "targets" of the Belarusian spec-ops forces lived.
Read alsoSheremet murder: Ex-Belarus KGB officer ready to testifyIn turn, Makar assured the information was transferred to Ukraine, Russia and even the Belarusian Foreign Ministry back in 2012.
"In 2012, Pavel was just going to move to Ukraine. But I know the information was transferred to the Russian Federation, and to Ukraine, and even to the Belarusian Foreign Ministry. By the way, just then Vadim Zaitsev was removed from the post of the KGB head," Makar said.
According to him, Sheremet was in danger since he was actively investigating the explosion in the Minsk subway in 2011.
Sheremet murder case: Background
- The journalist was assassinated in a car blast in the center of Kyiv on the morning of July 20, 2016.
- On December 12, 2019, police said they suspected five persons of complicity in the crime: former Donbas war volunteer and musician Andrii Antonenko, army volunteer and pediatric surgeon Yulia Kuzmenko (nom de guerre "Lysa," or "Fox"), a paratrooper unit's nurse Yana Duhar, and a family couple of army volunteers Inna Hryshchenko ("Puma"), and Vladyslav Hryshchenko ("Bucha"). Law enforcers claim that the culprits aimed to destabilize the social and political situation in Ukraine. Antonenko, Kuzmenko and Duhar were notified of their charges on December 12, 2019.
- Ukrainian investigative journalists with the Slidstvo.info project said they had found the forensic analysis report used in the probe into the murder of Sheremet far from being unambiguous, while evidence presented by the police – not convincing. What is more, many Ukrainian activists consider the evidence collected by the investigation to be insufficient.
- Leaked audio recordings alleging the involvement of Belarus top security leadership in the elimination of political opponents, including the assassination in a car blast of journalist Pavel Sheremet, were released on Monday, January 4.
- The National Police of Ukraine said they had received documents and audio recordings exposing what could be possible masterminds behind Sheremet's murder.