Ex-political prisoner Aliaksandr Malchanau sentenced to 1.5 years in high-security prison
On 9 April Judge of Zhodzina City Court Hrynevich
issued a verdict to the former political prisoner Aliaksandr Malchanau and
Both defendants were found guilty of a theft of scrap metal from the Zhodzina plant of heavy stamping. Malchanau was sentenced to 18 months in high-security colony, Artsiom Ihnatsikau – to 18 months in high-security colony with one-year determent. Thus, Judge Hrynkevich upheld the demand of senior assistant prosecutor of Zhodzina Tsintsevitskaya.
Malchanau's lawyer intends to appeal the verdict to Minsk Regional Court.
Malchanau and Ihnatsikau had been detained in January 2011 by Zhodzina police with evidence of crime: they had carried out scrap metal worth 450,000 rubles from the territory of an abandoned workshop of the plant. Before the trial Aliaksandr Malchanau was kept at the pre-trial prison in Zhodzina, whereas Ihnatsikau was released under a written undertaking not to leave.
Moreover, a criminal case concerning Article 370 of the Criminal Code, "Outrage of state symbols" was reopened against Aliaksandr Malchanau. According to the deputy head of the Human Rights Center "Viasna" Valiantsin Stefanovich", one can talk about the political implication of this did if Malchanau had really committed it (which he denies), or about the political motivation of the state accusation (in case he really didn't).