Ryhor Yazepchuk's case
Sentenced to death by the Mahilioŭ Regional Court on April 23, 2013.
July 12, 2013, the Judicial Board for Criminal Cases of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus considered the cassation complaint of R. Yazepchuk and left the verdict of the Mahilioŭ Regional Court unchanged.
The President of Belarus rejected the petition for clemency.
The public was informed about the execution in May 2014. It is assumed that Ryhor Yazepchuk was executed together with Pavel Sialiun, whose execution was reported on April 18, 2014.
No communication was filed to the Human Rights Committee, because defense lawyers had no access to R. Yazepchuk and the authorities concealed even his name for a long time.
July 4, the corpse of the 22-year-old prisoner Ihar Khadakou, strangled with a scarf, was found in a cell of prison №4 in Mahilioŭ. Ryhor Yazepchuk and Pavel Petrakou were held in the same cell with him.
According to the investigators, Ryhor Yazepchuk offered I. Khadakou to play dominoes "for life" – i.e. the winner would kill the loser. Having won, Yuzepchuk allegedly agreed with Petrakou when they would kill Khadakou.
The court found the both men guilty. R. Yazepchuk was convicted under paragraphs 15 and 16 of part 2 of Art. 139 (murder, committed by a group of persons, by a person who has previously committed murder).
Significant violations during the investigation and the circumstances of the case that weren't considered by the court and/or influenced the verdict
- For a long time the public did not know even the name of the suspect in the murder. The case
was considered in the Mahilioŭ remand prison behind the closed doors.
- The official version of the murder was announced in the TV program "Secrets of the Investigation" on the national TV channel "Belarus-1" on June 1, 2013. As it became known from the program, both cell-mates of R. Yazepchuk had a “low social status”: it was directly stated that they were in an intimate relationship with each other. According to the informal prison rules, the persons who are placed in a cell with such people also get the low social status unless they get out of the cell by any means – self-mutilation, attack on the convoy or even killing an inmate. These rules are well-known to the prison administration, that's why convicts with a low social status are held separately. The question why R. Yazepchuk, who didn't have such a status, was placed in such a cell remains open.
- The very fact of the "domino game" raises doubts, because the prison rules prohibit even sitting at the same table or talking to prisoners with the low social status.
- At the time of the murder the peephole in the cell was taped with a newspaper. However, the guards didn't hurry to open the cell, but only twice asked the inmates to remove the newspaper. The MIA Corrections Department didn't report about the punishment of any members of the prison administration for admitting the murder.