Trial of Autukhovich and other ‘terrorists’
The Supreme Court declared the verdict on the criminal case against Mikalai Autukhovich, Uladzimir Asipenka, Mikhail Kazlou and Aliaksandr Laryn, who were charged with preparation of a terrorist act and other grave crimes.
At the previous sitting, the state accuser, Eldar Safarau, asked to punish Mr. Autukhovich with 20 years of jail, and Uladzimir Asipenka and Aliaksandr Laryn – with 11 years. The convicts were charged with preparation of a terrorist act, unlawful manipulations with firearms and participation in arson. Autukhovich, Asipenka and Kazlou pleaded innocent and state that this is the revenge of the authorities for their anticorruption activities.
Bear in mind that former political prisoners Mikalai Autukhovich and Yury Liavonau were detained by the riot police on 8 February 2009 and have spent almost 15 months behind bars already.
Here’s a short chronicle of the last day of the trial.
2 p.m. Several tens of people gathered near the building of the Supreme Court. Many of them brought flowers. However, the court guards refused to let them in without explaining the reasons.
2.16 The mother of human rights activist Yana Paliakova (who had committed suicide) came to the court with a portrait of her daughter and wasn’t let in.
2.25 Only journalists, lawyers and representatives of foreign Embassies are admitted to the court hall. Human rights defenders, friends and acquaintances of the accused remain waiting at the court entrance.
2.32 More than 100 people came to hear the verdict to Autukhovich, including politicians, public activists and human rights defenders (Andrei Sannikau, Vital Rymasheuski, Aliaksandr Kazulin, Yury Hubarevich, Valiantsin Stefanovich, etc.) Those who didn’t manage to get in the court hall stand outside and sing songs.
2.45 68 persons were let in the court hall, as there were no more free places there. More than 40 people remained outdoors. It was declared that Judge Aliaksei Tsiatsiukhin would read the whole text of the verdict, whereas usually only the judicial disposition read. That’s why the procedure would take much more time.
3.27 As it became known during the reading of the verdict, Mikalai Autukhovich, Uladzimir Asipenka and Aliaksandr Laryn were charged only under Article 295, part 3 of the Criminal Code (unlawful actions with firearms, ammunition and explosives, committed by a group of individuals), which envisages 2-10 years of imprisonment.
4.45 Human rights defender Katsiaryna Sadouskaya was detained by the police for handing out leaflets near the court building, and guarded to the Leninski District Police Department of Minsk.
4.55 The charge in preparation of the terrorist act against Uladzimir Sauchanka has been dropped, as a result Autukhovich is charged only with unlawful storage of five cartridges in his house.
5.15 Judge Aliaksei Tsiatsiukhin announced the verdict: Mikalai Autukhovich is declared guilty of unlawful actions with firearms, ammunitions and explosives (Article 295, part 3 of the Criminal Code) and sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment. Uldadzimir Asipenka and Aliaksandr Laryn are sentenced to 3 years of imprisonment, and Mikhail Kazlou – to 2 years.