Review of the case of the death convict Hrunou appointed on 26 November

2013 2013-11-14T01:05:13+0300 2013-11-14T01:05:13+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Aliaksandr Hrunou during the trial at the Homel Regional Court. Photo by

Aliaksandr Hrunou during the trial at the Homel Regional Court. Photo by

On 26 November the Homel Regional Court will hold a new hearing on the criminal case of Aliaksandr Hrunou.

On 22 September the Judicial Chamber for Criminal Cases of the Supreme Court of Belarus on voiced its decision on his appeal, abolishing the death verdict, issued to him by the Homel Regional Court on 14 June 2013.

Abolishing the death verdict, the Supreme Court took into account a number of circumstances set out by the convict's defence during the consideration of the appeal. This was told by Andrei Paluda, the coordinator of the campaign "Human Rights Defenders against the death penalty in Belarus", who monitors the trial of the criminal case.

According to the human rights defender, the Supreme Court took into account the surrender of Mr. Hrunou, which wasn't qualified as a mitigating circumstance by the court of the first instance. The regional court also considered the convict to be unemployed, though he worked at the time of the crime and there were documents in the case which confirmed it. The positive characterizations of Mr. Hrunou, present in the criminal case and ignored by the first court, were also taken into account.

“In my opinion, the positive moment taken into account by the court is that while serving his sentence on prior criminal case, the prisoner was released ahead of schedule, as he had no penalties. Homel court also held that Mr. Hrunou was also registered as an abuser of toxic substabces, but but in his characterization it was indicated that he was treated and was excluded from the appopriate register,” says Mr. Paluda.

At the same time, the human rights defender is surprized with the fact that the Supreme Court ignored the violations related to the psychological and psychiatric examination, which served as the basis of the accusative verdict to Mr. Hrunou, and which was especially stressed by his counsel during the hearing.