Criminal case of two Russian citizens passed to court

2011 2011-02-07T17:40:23+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Investigators completed pre-trial investigation in the criminal case against Russian citizens Artem Breus and Ivan Gaponov.

Interfax-Zapad news agency learnt this from the law-enforcement bodies on Monday.

“The pre-trial investigation in the case against Breus and Gaponov is completed. The case has been sent to court,” a source from the law-enforcement bodies said adding that Breus and Gaponov are charged with taking part in mass protest action in Minsk on 19 December.

As the agency earlier reported with a link to Vadim Gusev, an advisor at the Embassy of Russia in Belarus, an accusation to Breus and Gaponov was changed last week from organizing mass riot to taking part in mass riot.

“The charges against the Russian citizens were changed. In particular, an accusation under part 1 of article 293 of the Criminal Code of Belarus, ‘organizing mass riot’ was dropped from them,” Gusev said.

“They are charged with violation of part 2 of article 293 of the Criminal Code, ‘taking part in mass riot’. This article provides punishment of imprisonment from three up to eight years,” he noted.

As previously reported, 11 Russian citizens, among them Breus and Gaponov, were freed on 30 December after they had been detained on 19 December for taking part in mass riot on Independence Square in Minsk.

They were charged with committing an administrative offence. An hour after their release they were detained again in connection with the criminal case of mass riot. The Russian citizens insist on their innocence.