OREANDA-NEWS. Irina Levshina, the director and editor-in-chief of the BelaPAN news agency of Belarus, and Dmitry Novozhilov, the former director, have been charged with tax evasion. This was reported on Tuesday, June 7, by the online newspaper Naviny.by, which is produced by BelaPAN.

According to the media, Levshina and Novozhilov were charged under Part 2 of Article 243 of the Criminal Code — tax evasion on a large scale — last week. «The preventive measure in the form of detention has been chosen for two months from the moment of detention», an informed source told BelaPAN.

On August 18, Belarusian security forces searched the editorial office and journalists, seized equipment, blocked all websites and seized servers, and detained several editorial staff. In addition to Levshina and Novozhilov, BelaPAN accountant Ekaterina Boeva was detained. She was released on August 28 under an obligation to appear, she remains in the status of a suspect.

Initially, the Investigative Committee reported that the detainees were suspected of involvement in organizing actions that violate public order (Article 342 of the Criminal Code), but later it became known that the IC opened a criminal case under Part 2 of Article 243 of the Criminal Code. In addition, the charges included a journalist Andrei Alexandrov, who was previously detained for financing protests and treason, who for some time, among other things, provided consulting services to BelaPAN.

«According to the report of the audit, the heads of BelaPAN from June 2018 to January 2021 made deliberately false information in the tax reports, which resulted in non-payment of taxes to the budget totaling more than 100 thousand rubles (about 30 thousand euros)», stated in the IC.