Political prisoner Yaraslau Zbarouski sentenced to 3 years of “khimiya”, released in the courtroom
The Pieršamajski District Court of Minsk announced today a verdict in a criminal case against 50-year-old political prisoner Yaraslau Zbarouski, who was charged with “active participation in group actions that grossly violated public order” (Part 1 of Article 342 of the Criminal Code).
The man was accused of taking part in the events of the night of August 10, 2020, near the Riga shopping center in Minsk. In particular, Zbarouski allegedly obstructed traffic with his own car and helped set up barricades.
The political prisoner plead not guilty, saying that he got to the place by accident. He was reportedly going to have dinner with his wife, but found himself in a traffic jam. He does not deny that he got out of the car and took pictures of the protesters.
Judge Maksim Trusevich ruled that Yaraslau Zbarouski’s guilt had been proved and sentenced him to three years in an open correctional facility (“khimiya”). He also ruled to confiscate the defendant’s car as an “instrument of crime”. Minsktrans’s claim for damages allegedly caused by the suspension of public transport will be heard in civil proceedings.
Yaraslau Zbarouski was released from custody in the courtroom, but will remain under travel restrictions before the appeal hearing. If the convict loses his appeal, he will be arrested to serve his sentence of imprisonment.