The Director of the public institution “Dapamoga”, Nataliya Kolegova, says that Belarus has detained not only lawyer Mantas Danielius but also Laurynas Ragelskis for espionage. Belarusian opposition activists living in Lithuania believe these individuals were spying on Belarusian organisations operating in Lithuania and passing information to the Belarusian KGB, lrytas.lt writes.
“We are here to talk about people revolving around Belarusian and Ukrainian organisations and diasporas who turned out to be spies. As a result, two people have recently been detained, Mantas Danielius and Laurynas Ragelskis,” Kolegova said at a press conference on Friday.
In her turn, Olga Karach, Director of the public institution “Mūsų namai”, emphasised at the press conference that there is a network of Lithuanian citizens in Lithuania which cooperates with the Belarusian state and passes on information about the activities of Belarusian refugees in Lithuania.
“There is talk of espionage and collaboration with the KGB. When we started to suspect something was wrong with Mr Danielius, we started our investigation. The organisation “Mūsų namai” and several other civic initiatives took part in that investigation and formed an informal coalition to address the issue”, emphasised Mr Karac.
“Mūsų namai and Dapamoga are targeted by the KGB as the largest organisations helping refugees in Lithuania”, she added.
The Director of “Mūsų namai” (Our Home) stressed that there is evidence that Mr Daniel had also infiltrated several organisations on the territory of Belarus that help families affected by the regime.
“I would like to stress that (Belarusian journalist – ELTA) Kseniya Lebedeva, with whom Mr Danielius collaborated, is not an ordinary journalist as the Belarusian regime claims. On the contrary, there is evidence that Ms Lebedeva took part in KGB interrogations in connection with the protests in Belarus, where lawyers and rights defenders were tortured, and stories were made which were degrading to their dignity. Furthermore, there is evidence that the KGB was working with information that was provided to Ms Lebedeva but was not made public in her programme,” she also stressed.
“There is also evidence that Ms Lebedeva, with the help of Mr Danielius, recruited Belarusian citizens on the territory of the Republic of Lithuania for the purpose of espionage”, she added.
O. Karach stressed that she was grateful to the Police Department, investigators and the Prosecutor’s Office for promptly reacting to the information provided and preventing M. Danielius from escaping to Belarus as he had planned.
“We want to stress that Mr Danielius was targeted not only by Belarusian civil organisations but also by other international structures (….), up to the level of ministries. He was infiltrated quite deeply into different structures in Lithuania”, she said. She said that Mr Danielius also targeted organisations assisting Ukrainian war refugees.
The Prosecutor General’s Office confirmed this week that Mr Danielius, a Lithuanian citizen suspected of espionage, was arrested in Vilnius. He has been detained for two months.
The Prosecutor General’s Office notes that the pre-trial investigation, launched in cooperation with the State Security Department, is being carried out by officers of the Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau and is being led by the prosecutor of the Organised Crime and Corruption Investigation Division of the Vilnius Regional Prosecutor’s Office.