Homel Regional Court reconfirms death sentence for Aliaksandr Hrunou
The Homel Regional Court confirmed yesterday its death verdict to Aliaksandr Hrunou previously sentenced to capital punishment for the brutal murder of a student. This was reported by the coordinator of the campaign “Human Rights Defenders against the Death Penalty in Belarus” Andrei Paluda.
On September 20, 2012, Aliaksandr Hrunou, 25, murdered his friend Natallia Emialianchykava. At trial, he explained that some time before the incident she had insulted him in the company of familiar people and did not apologize for that. This was reportedly the cause of his aggression. As a result, he stabbed the victim 102 times.
On June 14, the Homel Regional Court sentenced Aliaksandr Hrunou to death. The defendant plead guilty and apologized to Natallia Emialianchykava’s mother. He then appealed the verdict to the Supreme Court.
On October 18, the Criminal Division of the Supreme Court considered his appeal and ruled to send the case for a new trial.
When speaking at the hearing, Aliaksandr Hrunou’s lawyer, Siarhei Krasnou, told the Supreme Court judges that the presumption of innocence was violated against his client (Article 26 of the Belarusian Constitution and paragraph 2 of Article 14 of the ICCPR), as well as the principle of equal protection and adversarial proceedings (Article 22 of the Constitution and Article 24 of the ICCPR). There were also contradictions associated with the psychological and psychiatric examination of Hrunou.
Aliaksandr Hrunou now has the last possibility of appealing the sentence to the Supreme Court of Belarus.