A feud is emerging between officials in Belarus and neighbouring Latvia after Belarusian national television screened footage describing “a dirty homosexual orgy” claiming to involve a Latvian diplomat.

The diplomat was named in the television report as the embassy’s Second Secretary, Reimo Smits who was called a “pervert” and a “porn dealer.”

The report accused the diplomat of distributing pornographic materials and contained footage of what his claimed to be the diplomat having sex with another man.

The television report claimed that the footage was taped in the flat of the diplomat.

Belarusian Interior Minister Vladimir Naumov told journalists on Friday that a criminal case was filed against the diplomat on charges of distributing pornographic materials.

He said: “Pornographic materials were confiscated from him,” adding that the police had obtained information that the diplomat was involved in the activity for a long time.

“However, it was difficult to establish his identity before,” Mr Naumov said. He also said that the diplomat has not been placed under arrest.

It appears that on July 25, the Belarusian Secret Service stormed the apartment of the Latvian diplomat in Minsk and carried out a search. They seized some of his possessions including video materials.

But in Riga, the Latvian Foreign Ministry said that the videocassettes were of footage of six-year-old Belarusian television news reports.

“To say that the cassettes seized by policemen whose visit lasted for 10-15 minutes, had porn materials is senseless, as it cannot be proved,” said Svyatoslav Sementsov, a Belarusian gay activist.

“Even if these cassettes had porn material, it is too insignificant pretext for breaching international commitments of Belarus and causing a great international scandal,” he added.

The Belarusian Secret Service is thought to have planted hidden microphones and video cameras in the apartment of the diplomat, in infringement of the international norms and local legislation.

During Sunday’s TV programme, references to political opposition in Belarus were made. Footage of the protests on the October Square in Minsk after the presidential elections was shown.

Chair of Amnesty International Belarus, Viachaslau Bortnik, said: “Belarusian TV has being often used by the government to denounce “plots” organised by foreign diplomats to change the regime.

“The government-controlled media also tries to smear the opposition by associating it with homosexuality and their homophobic reports demonstrate that negative attitudes towards homosexuals exist at the highest levels of government.

“Although homosexuality is not a criminal offence in Belarus, homophobia is widespread and instances of harassment occurred in all spheres of society.”

Meanwhile the BBC reported that Latvian diplomats have condemned Belarus over the issue.