Mikhail Hladki's case
March 13, 2003 was sentenced to 8 years in a high-security penal colony under part 1 of Art. 139 (murder) by the Zaslaŭje Town Court, presided by Judge I. Buyakevich, with lay judges H. Tsikhanovich and R. Valchankova, prosecutor A. Badziulia and lawyer I. Rynkevich.
July 11, 2012, the verdict was canceled by the Minsk Regional Court and the case was passed to the Minsk District Prosecutor's Office for a new preliminary investigation.
November 29, 2012 the criminal case was terminated due to the absence of corpus delicti in Mikhail Hladki's actions.
November 25, 2013 the Minsk Regional Court convicted E. Lykau of the murder of which Mikhail Hladki had been convicted before that.
October 10, 2002 Mikhail Hladki came to the house of his mother where she lived with his brother, Viktar Hladki, who had been released from jail shortly before. He saw that the mother, who was dead, and his brother, who seemed to be asleep. Earlier, Viktar Hladki had repeatedly beaten the mother, that's why Mikhail decided that Viktar had killed her. Being in a state of a strong emotional excitement, Mikhail took an ax and hit his lying brother in the head several times. Later he called the ambulance and the police.
At first, the investigation charged him with killing his mother and brother, but then “established” that the mother had been killed by Viktar Hladki, while Mikhail Hladki was guilty only of killing his brother. If the initial charges hadn't been changed, Mikhail Hladki could have been sentenced to death.
At the trial, Mikhail pleaded guilty. He served five years in the colony and spent 7 months at corrective labor.
The real killer, Eduard Lykau, was detained on suspicion of the murder of a resident of the Minsk district, Mikalai Hryharenka, in 2011. During the investigation Lykau, referring to his talks with a Catholic priest and sincere repentance, confessed to killing other people, including the first murders – of Mikhail Hladki's brother and mother in 2002. He killed them the day before Mikhail Hladki's visit to the house, on October 9.
Despite the frank recognition and cooperation with the investigation, due to which an innocent man was rehabilitated and two more murders were disclosed, in November 2013 Eduard Lykau was sentenced to death and executed.
Since 2014 Mikhail Hladki has been seeking a compensation for material and moral damages for wrongful conviction, as well as bringing to justice the persons involved in the proceedings in his case.
However, the Minsk District Court, the Minsk Regional Court, the Supreme Court, the Investigative Committee and the Prosecutor General refuse to assess the verdict and evidence base and bring the duty officials to disciplinary responsibility, referring to the confessions which were "sufficient for considering the case in court”. Mikhail Hladki was also denied compensation for damage, as his testimony is considered as self-incrimination. The fact that Mikhail Hladki was sure of his guilt and, therefore was giving "correct and objective testimonies", while self-incrimination is giving knowingly false testimonies with some purpose, is ignored.
Significant violations during the investigation and the circumstances of the case that weren't considered by the court and/or influenced the verdict
- One of the neighbors, Vasil, said he had seen Viktar Hladki going home with a stranger on the eve of the murder. However, he wasn't interrogated by the investigators and summoned to the trial.
- Eduard Lykau was repeatedly convicted and his fingerprints were in the criminal base. However, the investigators didn't find any “foreign” fingerprints at the scene.
- According to Lykau, he wrote “Find and Kill Me” on the wall of the house of Hladki's mother. However, this inscription wasn't investigated properly.
- According to the examination, Viktar Hladki had been dead for one day before he was hit with an ax by Mikhail Hladki. However, the investigation and the court ignored this fact.
- As it is said in the verdict, the examination discovered presence of human blood on the clothes of the accused, which could belong to the victim V. Hladki. However, examinations must give more precise conclusions, leaving no doubts as to where the blood belonged to the victim.
Despite the confession of the accused, the task of the investigation is to conduct all possible investigative actions, and the task of the court is to hold a complete and objective evaluation of the evidence to establish the truth. As a result of the improper investigation and acceptance of doubtful evidence by the court, an innocent man was convicted while the real perpetrator managed to kill three more people – nobody was looking for him, as the “culprit” has already been found.