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Former security officer testified in Kyiv in Sheremet case

19.01.2021, 16:06
Photo credit: Screenshot from svaboda.org
Photo credit: Screenshot from svaboda.org

Former second-in-command officer of  the  “Almaz” special forces unit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus, now a member of the civic project "Belarusian People's Tribunal" Igor Makar testified in the case of the murder of journalist Pavel Sheremet, as the Belarusian desk of Radio Svoboda reported.

“On January 16, I came back from Kyiv to Vilnius. After my report about what was happening in the office of KGB Chairman Zaytsev in 2012 was made public, some Ukrainian diplomats contacted me and suggested to cooperate in order to contribute to solving the murder of Pavel Sheremet. At the request of the head of the National Police Department of Ukraine, I got a visa to Ukraine and was asked to take a flight for Ukraine and to take part in the investigation, ”he said.

According to Makar, he was met by special services in Ukraine and was also provided with round-the-clock protection.

“We conducted some investigative activity and other in the National Police, after which the Ukrainian side informed me that they had no reason not to trust me. In my opinion, I have given enough grounds to claim that the Belarusian special services have something to do with the order to kill Pavel Sheremet, ”he said.

In addition, Makar said that he provided the Ukrainian side with much more information than he published in mass media. "We agreed, and I promised not to disclose my testimony, as it could affect the investigation. Trials are already underway in this criminal case, and it is very important that this information does not get anywhere, ”he said.

He believes that the investigation of the case will "radically change" as a result of the information provided by him, and is convinced that the crime will be solved. 

"I am convinced that regardless of who is currently detained and who is suspected, the investigation will be completed in the case and find out who precisely committed the murder and who was the direct mastermind of this high-profile murder," he said.

As for the reasons for the murder of Pavel Sheremet, in his opinion, 60% of them are related to the cases of the persons who went missing. 

“Pavel also took a close part in the investigation of the explosion in the Minsk metro in 2011. In my personal opinion, after comparing a number of facts and talking to Ukrainian investigators, we can talk about Alexander Lukashenko's hatred toward Pavel Sheremet. All this together could be the reason for his elimination. And it was done as a emblematic murder, "he said.

Makar, citing his sources in Belarus, said that the publication of the audio recording caused some "considerable anxiety in the KGB."

It will be recalled that Igor Makar handed over a recording of a conversation in 2012 involving a person whose voice resembled the voice of the then chairman of the State Security Committee of Belarus Vadim Zaytsev to the Belgian publication EUobserver.

During the conversation with two interlocutors, the operation aiming to eliminate journalist Pavel Sheremet, Aleh Alkayev (former head of the G1 pre-trial detention center in Minsk), Volodymyr Borodach (former commander of the special brigade) and Vyacheslav Dudkin (former head of the anti-corruption department) is being discussed.

On January 4, 2021, the “Belarusian People's Tribunal”, EUobserver and “Ukraiynska Pravda” published recordings of the April 11, 2012 conversation, in which the voices were similar to those of the then KGB chief Vadym Zaitsev and employees of the counter-terrorist unit of the KGB "Alpha". More specifically, he was briefing members of the Alpha Group's Seventh Department, a clandestine task-force, which Zaitsev had created to target the regime's political enemies..

According to the data, Alexander Lukashenko allegedly allocated more than $ 1.5 million for such operations.

Speaking to Brussels edition, the NATO experts familiar with Zaytsev in Belarus confirmed the voices in audio recording could be Zaytsev’s one.

Since 2013, Zaytsev, the former head of the KGB, has headed Cosmos TV, a private television and Internet services company.

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