Belarusan Catholic priest released ahead of trial

13 December 2013 | by Josef Pazderka

Fr Vladislav Lazar, the Belarusan Catholic priest accused of high treason, has been released from the security services detention facility under restrictions pending trial, the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See in Belarus announced.

“It has been decided that, during the investigation, which is still continuing, the priest should stay at a permanent place, having freedom of movement and action in line with certain regulations, with the obligation of daily registration with a local police department,” the nunciature statement said.

Fr Lazar, 46, was detained by the Belarus secret services (KGB) in early June. He has been charged with “handing over money and material values to a man who is accused of espionage for another state”.

The charge of treason carries a punishment of seven to 15 years. According to family and friends of Fr Lazar the priest denies all the treason charges.

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