European Union considers Autukhovich’s case as politically motivated
On 10 May, the UK Embassy, representing the country holding EU presidency, issued a statement concerning the legal proceedings in the case of Mikalai Autukhovich, Uladzimir Asipenka, and Mikhail Kazlou.
Based on the observations of EU countries’ diplomats and Belarusian human rights activists, the UK diplomatic mission expresses its concern about the statements made at the trial by witnesses for the prosecution, who said they had given evidence under physical and psychological pressure.
Taking into account the fact that Autukhovich had taken active part in defending the rights of entrepreneurs and Afghan War veterans as well as his public statements on alleged corruption, these proceeding can be regarded as politically motivated, the representative of the EU president notes.
Earlier, BelaPAN news agency learnt from the press office of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the EU thinks Mikalai Autukhovich’s active position may have influenced a sentence for him.
Bear in mind that on 6 May the Supreme Court delivered sentences in the case of Vaukavysk entrepreneurs. Autukhovich got five years and two months in a maximum security colony, Asipenka was sentenced to three years in a minimum security colony, two other accused, former employee of Autukhovich’s firm Aliaksandr Laryn and militia lieutenant colonel Mikhail Kazlou received three years in a medium security colony and two years in a minimum security colony without deprivation of the right to hold executive posts.Autukhovich is found guilty of carrying and keeping five gun cartridges, Asipenka and Laryn are found guilty of keeping and carrying arms and explosive devices, Kazlou – of the fact he had information about a grenade launcher at the territory of lyceum #1 in Hrodna, but didn’t say it.