Sentence to Katsiaryna Sadouskaya to Be Pronounced on October 23
Katsiaryna Sadouskaya is charged with insult of judges and threats, as well as insult of president Alexander Lukashenka. She has been in custody since July 25 – at first, in the mental hospital, and then – in a Valadarka detention center.
More than 3 dozen people who had received help from Sadouskaya came to court to support her. The ground for the criminal charge was the letters received by Kirau district court judge Nadzeya Chmara and her colleague Ms. Ulitsina.
The judges link the abusive language of the letters with Sadouskaya. The human rights defender does not plead guilty. She claims she has never written the letters. Her lawyer points out, the investigation failed to find any proofs of the fact that the letters were typed at the computer, which belongs to Sadouskaya. The lawyer asked the court to appoint an expert analysis of the authorship of the letters. His appeal was rejected.
The prosecutor insists Katsiaryna Sadouskaya should be sentenced to 1 year of jail. Judges Chmara and Ulitsina filed a suit for compensation of moral damage -- 2 million rubles (about 1 thousand USD) to each. The prosecutor claims, they have suffered moral damage during the preliminary investigation.
The defense lawyer asked to release Sadouskaya on bail. He referred to the fact the ill 60-year-old woman had to take care of her 84-year-old mother and disabled husband. The court rejected the petition because Sadouskaya was also charged with a more serious crime – insult of Alexander Lukashenka.
The prosecutor’s office representative refers to the results of the linguistic expert analysis of another letter. The analysis has shown that the letter contains abusive language towards the president. During the trial Sadouskaya confessed that she had written the letter. However, she didn’t send it to anyone. The letter was found during the search in her apartment after she had been arrested. The prosecutor asked to sentence the human rights defender to 3 years of imprisonment. Krasouskaya’s husband and children attended the trial. Her son Yury told RFE/RL:
-- my granny will not see mom released from jail. She has too little time left… And 4 million rubles for a pensioner is an unheard amount. It’s unreal.
The judgment to Katsiaryna Sadouskaya will be pronounced at 12 p.m. on October 23.