Californian man, who is being sought by the FBI for his involvement in the attack on the Capitol Jan. 6, over what they believed to be stolen elections, fled the country and now seeks asylum in Belarus.
Evan Neumann (48), was indicted in March for six insurrection-related crimes, including two felonies of assaulting an officer, and one for participating in civil disorder. On Nov. 7, he told Belarus 1 that his lawyer had advised him flee to Europe. He called the charges against his "unfounded" as well as claiming that they amount to "political persecuting."
BuzzFeed News sent two emails to Neumann asking for comments. One was from Mill Valley, a small town north of San Francisco. The other was via LinkedIn.
Neumann stated in the news segment titled, "Goodbye America!" that he took extreme measures to evade arrest from US law enforcement. He also sketched out a Catch Me if You Can escape plan.
He claimed that he flew to Europe in March for a business trip, and then traveled by train to Switzerland. He said that he then drove to Germany, and then on to Poland. In mid-March, he crossed into Ukraine to settle in central Zhytomyr. He said that he rented an apartment there for four month before deciding to flee the country.
Neumann claimed that he fled Ukraine after being noticed by agents of the Ukrainian security agency, the SBU. He explained that he illegally crossed into Belarus by foot in August under cover of darkness, following agents from the Ukrainian security service, the SBU.
Belarus has no extradition treaty to the United States. Tensions between the two countries have deteriorated significantly since Washington and most of the rest of the world declared the August 2020 presidential elections to be rigged. Alexander Lukashenko is Europe's last dictator and has ruled Belarus with iron fist for over two decades. Although he claims to have won the election, evidence suggests he likely lost it to Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.
In late March, federal prosecutors filed charges against Neumann under seal. This is a common practice in Capitol riot cases. The Justice Department will do this until it arrests a defendant. They are concerned about suspects trying destroy evidence and putting the police in danger.
According to the charges, FBI agents followed Neumann to San Francisco International Airport on February 16th and interrogated him about his visit to Washington on January 6. Neumann allegedly confirmed that he was in DC and had "interacted" but refused to give details. The government did not take him into custody, and it didn't say if he had gotten on a plane.
Prosecutors asked for a judge's dissolution of the case three months after they filed charges. They explained that Neumann was still "at large" and that publicizing the charges would give authorities more options to track him down.
Prosecutors wrote that they have reason to believe Mr. Neumann knows he is under investigation in connection to the Jan 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol Riot and is actively trying to avoid arrest.
Prosecutors have identified alleged rioters in a few cases as being a flight risk. According to court filings, Jeffrey Sabol, a Colorado resident, told authorities that he planned to fly to Zurich (Switzerland) because he didn’t believe there was an Extradition Treaty with the United States. After he said that he was going to ski for a few more days, Sabol stated that he had made it to the airport. However, he turned around after police officers asked him about his backpack.