Capitol riot suspect Evan Neumann wanted by FBI is granted asylum in Belarus

Credit: Youtube/Belta

A man who is suspected of being involved in last year's riot at the US Capitol has been given asylum by Belarus.

Evan Neumann, who is charged with multiple counts related to the riot on January 6 2021, is believed to have fled the United States in February last year.

Belarus state-owned media outlet Belta said Mr Neumann had been given "refugee status" in the country, which is facing sanctions from the US for its role in the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Mr Neumann is still wanted by the FBI for his role in the riots on January 6 Credit: FBI

When contacted by ITV News, the FBI declined to comment but did confirm that Mr Neumann, who is originally from California, is still wanted for his suspected role in the riot.

Around 800 people have been charged for their involvement in the riot on January 6, which saw supporters of then-President Donald Trump storming the Capitol to protest the 2020 presidential election result.

It was widely condemned as an attack on democracy and came after Belarus' ally Russia interfered in the 2016 US Presidential Election.

In a video released on Tuesday by Belta, an immigration official appears to hand Mr Neumann a document before confirming he is under the protection of the country.

In an interview with the state-owned media outlet, Mr Neumann said: "Belarus is very nice and I feel safe in Belarus, especially compared to my compatriots in America."

"It is bittersweet... I am very happy and very sad at the same time," he added.

Last week, the US placed further sanctions on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who is an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Credit: AP

The US does not have an extradition treaty with Belarus.

Page Pate, an attorney and extradition expert, told ITV News this makes "his chances of facing justice in the US very unlikely."

He added: "It will be very difficult, if not impossible, for the US government to obtain jurisdiction over him as long as he stays there.

"As long as he stays in Belarus, he is probably safe."

Mr Pate added, however, that those given asylum sometimes decide they want to travel outside of the country.

He said: "Sometimes someone, especially someone who is a US citizen, may decide they don't want to spend the rest of their life in Belarus."

"That arrest warrant from the US will always be if he does attempt to travel, it is possible he can be apprehended and returned to the US," he added.

It is understood Mr Neumann fled to Ukraine last year before crossing the border to Belarus in August.

According to the FBI, he was charged in December last year with 14 counts related to the riot, including civil disorder and assaulting police officers. It is alleged he used a "metal barricade as a battering ram" against police on the day of the riot.

Watch ITV News' eyewitness report from inside the US Capitol as Trump supporters storm building

In an interview from November with Belarussian state television, Mr Neumann denied the charges saying they were "unfounded".

The US has sanctioned Belarus over abuses of human rights and its support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Last week, it increased sanctions on Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko, an ally of President Putin.

In the interview with Belta, Mr Neumann said he would stay in Brest where he has "started a life", but would also like to travel to Minsk.

"I have not been able to travel, so I would like to see around other parts of Belarus," he added.