Political prisoner Dzmitry Kulakouski sentenced to 2 years of restricted freedom on defamation charges
Judge Tatsiana Pirozhnikava of the Maskoŭski District Court of Minsk sentenced today political prisoner Dzmitry Kulakouski to two years’ imprisonment in an open-type penal facility (so-called “khimiya”). He was found guilty of “publicly insulting an official in connection with the performance of his official duties” (Article 369 of the Criminal Code). Kulakouski was released from custody immediately after the verdict was announced, but will remain under travel restrictions pending appeal hearings.
In addition, Kulakouski was ordered to pay material compensation for moral damage to the victim, police detective Smoliar, in the amount of 1,000 Belarusian rubles. Neither the victim nor the witnesses for the prosecution (police officers) appeared in court (despite the defense lawyer’s requests).
Dzmitry Kulakouski was detained on December 4 while trying to leave Belarus. He has been in custody ever since. The term of his detention was included in the term of restraint of liberty (one day in custody is equal to two days of the sentence).
Dzmitry said that during his pre-trial detention he was never allowed to enjoy outdoor time and today, when he was released in the courtroom, he “saw the daylight for the first time.”
Kulakouski also noted that he was not given the necessary medication, which resulted in type 1 diabetes (he used to have type 2 diabetes).
The convict stresses that his case was trumped up, as he was prosecuted for his resignation from the post of the head of the criminal investigation department of the Zavodski District Police Department of Minsk. He intends to appeal against the court ruling.