Human rights defender Viktar Adzinochanka comments on death sentence in Homel
member of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee Viktar Adzinochanka
commented on the death sentence pronounced on 14 June in Homel to a
25 year-old man. "We, human rights activists consistently
oppose the death penalty. And in this case, I am convinced of the
correctness of our position. Of course, a terrible murder was
committed, but if we take account of the interests of our society, it
is not the kind of person who should be shot," suggested the
human rights activist.
He believes that the reason for the delivery of the death verdict was that the defendant did not defend himself even when he had his last plea in court. "He just apologized to the mother of the killed, that's all. The judge repeatedly asked whether he had anything else to say, and the defendant answered he had nothing else to say, he didn't even ask for mercy, didn't try to defend himself," said Viktar Adzinochanka.
According to him, the trial was conducted in accordance with the law. "Still, I believe that the death penalty in this country should be canceled, it does not solve the problem," summed up the human rights activist.
Bear in mind that on 14 June the Homel Regional Court issued a verdict in a criminal case against a 25-year resident of Homel, accused of killing a student of the Homel State University named after Skaryna Natallia Yemelyanchykava. The extremely cruel murder took place on 20 September 2012, the victim suffered 102 stab wounds. The girl died just few meters away from her house.
The court agreed with the requirements of the state prosecutor and sentenced the young man to death by shooting. The verdict may still be appealed. The accused has the right to petition for clemency.
The public prosecution demanded the death penalty for him during the previous sitting, on 4 June. In 2005 the defendant was sentenced to 8 years of imprisonment for inflicting grievous bodily harm resulting in death – he beat to death his mother's cohabitant.
He killed the girl one year after his release from jail.
"The accused presents a high danger to the society and must be given the hardest punishment possible," noticed the prosecutor.
The psychiatric examination found him mentally healthy, he was not in a state of temporary insanity at the time of the murder. He didn't suffer from alcohol or drugs dependence. However, he has a mixed personality disorder.
At the trial the defendant admitted his guilt completely. He stated that around June-July 2012 he had been in a group of people with Natallia Yemialyanchykava, and she had insulted him. On 19 September he was traveling on a bus with his mistress and a friend and met Natallia. He knew where she lived, as he was acquainted with her brother. The accused got off the bus one stop away from the house where the victim lived and ran through the yards. He waited until the girl came to the entrance, and then attacked her with a knife.
On 12 June the mother of the accused told the journalists that if the girl who insulted his son apologized, the tragedy could have been avoided. According to the mother, the son defended his dignity, and "earlier, people fought at duels for insults, so why couldn't my son defend his dignity?". She would like the son to be sentenced to 25 years in prison. "He has seen no good in this life, and now they are asking for his death. His father was murdered when he was a child and the killers haven't been ever found. Yes, he murdered my cohabitant but that one was a tramp who collected bottles, he defended his girlfriend as she had a conflict with him," stated the mother.