Death convict Aliaksandr Hrunou files supervisory appeal and petition for clemency

2014 2014-04-17T15:50:27+0300 2014-04-17T15:50:27+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

Aliaksandr Hrunou notes that when sentencing him to death the court failed to consider number of mitigating circumstances, including his sincere repentance, complete confession and voluntary cooperation with the investigation, as well as the illegal and immoral actions by the victim, Natallia Yemialiyanchykava.

On 8 April 2014, the Supreme Court repeatedly confirmed the death verdict for the 26-year-old resident of Homel Aliaksandr Hrunou, who in September 2012 killed a student Natallia Yemialiyanchykava.

The convict is now trying to appeal against the verdict under supervisory procedures, as his lawyer has already filed a complaint with the Chairman of the Supreme Court.

Aliaksandr Hrunou’s counsel stresses five significant extenuating circumstances that the Homel Regional Court and the Supreme Court had not taken into account.

The case file says that Aliaksandr Hrunou explained his action as follows. In the summer of 2012, he was in a company of friends with Natallia Yemialiyanchykava, drinking alcohol together. At some point, there was a conflict between Natallia Yemialiyanchykava, Aliaksandr Hrunou and his concubine. Yemialiyanchykava, despite knowing that Hrunou had been in prison, called him a “brat”, and said that she would call her friends and they would rape him.

Aliaksandr Hrunou viewed these words as a very serious offense. Moreover, the student did not apologize. On 19 September 2012, he met her on a bus and remembered the conflict. After Natallia Yemialiyanchykava got off the bus, he followed her in order to hear her apology. But Natallia replied using foul language.

According to Part 8 Art. 63 of the Criminal Code, criminal liability may be mitigated if the crime is committed under the influence of illegal or immoral acts on the part of the victim.

A number of experts in psychology who were interviewed during the trial said that constant thinking about the insult may result in strong anger. The experts also said that if Natallia Yemialiyanchykava had apologized Aliaksandr Hrunou could have just left.

It should be noted that the convict repeatedly said in court that he was aware of his guilt and did not deny it. Under these circumstances, there is the possibility of replacing the death penalty with life imprisonment.

It is with this request that the death convict appealed to the President’s Commission of Pardons. However, even before the final decision of the court, Aliaksandr Lukashenka said during a meeting with Prosecutor General Aliaksandr Kaniuk that Hrunou only deserved the death penalty.

On April 10, a communication on behalf of Aliaksandr Hrunou was registered at the UN Human Rights Committee. According to paragraph 92 of the Committee’s Rules of Procedure, the State should not execute a death sentence during its consideration on the merits by the UN Committee.