Viktar Adzinochanka: Lukashenka's statement influenced the verdict on Hrunou's case
Homel resident Aliaksandr Hrunou was repeatedly sentenced to death. The representative of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee in Homel, candidate of phylosophical sciences Viktar Adzinochanka commented on the verdict, issued by the Supreme Court of Belarus on April 8.
“I attended the trials over Aliaksandr Hrunou as an observer of the Belarusian Helsinki Committeee, both the first and the second one. He was twice sentenced to death. To my mind, the existence of an article of the Criminal Code which provides death penalty, is abnormal. I am very sorry for the victim, the young girl who was killed by Hrunou. At the same time, I am sorry for Hrunou, who is a man whose life was broken – his father was killed, and he had to live through it, then he had a conflict with his mother's cohabitant and killed him. He was also registered in a psychiatric clinic.
His behavior was clearly inadequate and it was quite noticeable at the trial.
I believe that the statement of president Aliaksandr Lukashenka made a very large impact on the court verdict, although the court kept to all formal procedures. Lukashenka blankly and clearly called for the death penalty for Hrunou yet before the beginning of the second trial. If the judge made a different judgement it would have contradicted the position with the position of the state authorities. On the other hand, the media publications also played their role – Aliaksandr Hrunou was described as an asocial, ill and aggressive person. However, the court observed all formal procedures and issued the verdict in conformity with the present legislation.”
The human rights activist stressed that the article on the death penalty just creates problems. "Of course, a crime must be punished, but it is necessary to introduce other measures. A felony was committed in this case, but the death penalty is an abnormal phenomenon."
Aliaksandr Hrunou was sentenced to death under Article 139, part 6, paragraph 2 of the Criminal Code, murder committed with extreme cruelty.