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The Prosecutor General's Office of Belarus opened a criminal case on the death of Roman Bondarenko at the hands of unknown persons. What does Roman's mother, Elena Bondarenko, expect from the investigation - in an interview with DW.

The mother of the deceased Roman Bondarenko is looking at photos of her son

Elena Bondarenko, the mother of the deceased Belarusian Roman Bondarenko, waited three months before the General Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Belarus opened a criminal case on the death of her son on February 18, 2021. Roman, 31, died after being beaten by unknown persons on November 12, 2020, when he went out into the courtyard of his house to see who was cutting white-red-white ribbons from the fence.

Although the Belarusian authorities insisted that Roman was drunk at the time of the incident, his analyzes suggest otherwise. For the disclosure of medical secrets about zero ppm of alcohol in Bondarenko's blood, doctor Artem Sorokin and journalist tut.by Yekaterina Borisevich became defendants in a criminal case that the court recently began to consider. DW met and talked with Roman Bondarenko's mother Elena about the initiation of a criminal case into the death of her son, public support and the trial of Borisevich and Sorokin.

DW: How did you find out about the initiation of a criminal case into the death of your son?

Elena Bondarenko: I learned about the initiation of a criminal case from my lawyer, she received a call from the Prosecutor General's Office. Then I myself called the Prosecutor General's Office and asked if this was true. I was told that yes, it is true, the case was opened.

It came as a surprise to me, because a lot of time has passed, more than three months. I had been waiting for this for a very long time, and every day the hope melted and melted, because many different events were happening around, and there was a vacuum and silence regarding my son. So when it happened, it was unexpected.

- Why do you think the criminal case was opened right now?

- I think that the initiation of the criminal case was influenced by the fact that the doctor Artyom Sorokin and the journalist Yekaterina Borisevich are currently being tried (they are being tried for divulging medical secrets about the state of health of Roman Bondarenko - Ed.). It seems to me that these events are connected. After all, there was information from government agencies, the Investigative Committee that Roman was drunk, that alcohol was found in his blood. I would not like it to remain that way, because it is not. There were tests that proved otherwise.

- Why do you think the authorities focus on the fact that Roman was allegedly drunk?

- I think because it makes it easier to write off the whole incident as a hooligan fight or something mundane and insignificant, remove the political accent.

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