A son of former Prime Minister Mikalay Chigir. The case of Aliaksandr Chigir from the very beginning was considered political. According to experts, its aim was to attack Mikalay Chigir, who in 1996 resigned from his post as prime minister because he did not agree with Lukashenko’s way of running the country.
Chronicle of repression
Aliaksandr Chigir was tried three times. For the first time he spent behind bars, three years out of seven. He was accused of stealing cars and selling their spare parts. The authorities have used the fact that Chigir was very fond of cars and he was repairing them himself.
In 1999, following the release of Aliaksandr, a new criminal case based on old accusations was launched against him, he was also charged with “illegal business activities”. On 20 February 2001 he was officially charged under the article 205, part 4 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus (larceny committed by a group).
Since February 2001, Aliaksandr Chigir was held in custody. At that time, the colony authorities did not agree for his meeting with the family, and his lawyer had been brutally beaten by unknown assailants.
On 6 March 2002 Judge Sergei Khripach of the Leninsky District Court of Minsk, sentenced Aliaksandr Chigir to seven years in a hard labour colony with confiscation of property. Chigir’s co-defendants, Anton Yashin and Dmitry Yutskevich, received 7.5 and 11.5 years, respectively. They all pleaded not guilty. The defense lawyers denounced all charges as a fabrication based on Yashin’s and Yutskevich’s testimonies, which they gave as a result of torture and threats and later retracted.
Aliaksandr served a few months in the Ivatsevichy colony, but in December 2002 he was transferred to the Minsk detention center.
On 16 May 2003, a court in Minsk began the second trial of the former prime minister’s son. According to investigators, Aliaksandr had stolen 15 cars of foreign brands. However, there was not found any person who participated in this operation, therefore, Aliaksandr’s sentence was not changed.