Switzerland: Former Belarusian operative goes on trial over enforced disappearances

Source: ABC News

“A former member of Belarusian President Aleksander Lukashenko’s special security forces was going on trial Tuesday in Switzerland over the enforced disappearances of political opponents in the late 1990s — seen as a landmark case of international justice. Yuri Harauski, a former member of a military unit known as SOBR, exited a tinted-window van wearing a hood as he entered the courthouse in the northern city of St. Gallen. … The court case was brought under a rarely applied legal principle known as universal jurisdiction, under which foreign courts can prosecute severe crimes that happened in other countries. Harauski will be tried over the enforced disappearances of Yuri Zakharenko, a former interior minister who was fired by Lukashenko in 1996; opposition leader Viktor Gonchar; and publisher Anatoly Krasovsky, said Trial International, an advocacy group that has spearheaded the case.” (09/19/23)