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Mikalai Autukhovich to be tried under ten articles of the Criminal Code

2022 2022-04-27T22:37:00+0300 2022-04-28T20:09:45+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Mikalai Autukhovich. Photo by "Nasha Niva"

Mikalai Autukhovich. Photo by "Nasha Niva"

A trial over the entrepreneur from Vaŭkavysk Mikalai Autukhovich, who is charged with ten articles of the Criminal Code, has been scheduled. The hearing will begin in Hrodna Regional Court on 16 May. Judge Maksim Filatau will consider the case.

Mikalai Autukhovich and a number of people who, the investigators believe, are connected to him were detained as early as December 1, 2020. The authorities immediately declared Autukhovich the organizer and leader of a “terrorist group” that operated in the Hrodna region and allegedly set police officers’ cars and houses on fire.

A total of 12 people are under investigation in the "Autukhovich case". One of them is political prisoner Uladzimir Hundar, who has a disability and was convicted under Article 366 of the Criminal Code (Violence or threat against an official in the performance of official duties) to three years in a general-security penal colony on May 20, 2021.

It is still unknown whether the trial will be open or closed. It is also still unclear whether the “Autukhovich group” will be tried together.

According to the investigation, Mikalai Autukhovich and members of the organized group prepared an incendiary mixture of gasoline and other flammable substances on the night of October 1 to 2, 2020. Then they poured this mixture on the car and house belonging to the police officer in Vaŭkavysk and set them on fire. In November 2020б Mikalai Autukhovich and “other members of the criminal organization” produced an improvised explosive device on the basis of TNT and an unspecified detonator and then exploded a car belonging to a police officer in Hrodna. The criminal case against other members of the “criminal community” was allocated in separate proceedings.

Prior to his new detention, Mikalai Autukhovich had served the longest among all Belarusian political prisoners term of 7 years and 5 months.

Mikalai Autukhovich has been charged under the following articles of the Criminal Code:

  • Part 3 of Art. 285 (Creating a criminal organization and taking part in it);
  • Part 2 of Art. 357 (Attempt to seize power in an unconstitutional way);
  • Part 1 of Art. 356 (High treason);
  • Part 3 of Article 130 (Incitement to hatred);
  • Part 3 of Art. 361 (Calls for actions aimed at causing harm to the national security of the Republic of Belarus);
  • Part 1 of Art. 290-2 (Threat to commit an act of terrorism);
  • Part 3 of Art. 289 ( An act of terrorism and preparation for it);
  • Part 4 of Art. 295 (Unlawful acts against firearms, ammunition, and explosives);
  • Part 3 of Art. 333-1 (Illegal transportation of firearms, ammunition, explosives, explosive devices across the customs border of the EEU and the State Border of the Republic of Belarus);
  • Part 1 of Art. 295-3 (Illegal actions in relation to objects, the destructive effect of which is based on the use of flammable substances).

Some defendants in the “Autukhovich case” also face charges under Part 1 of Article 342 of the Criminal Code (Organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order) and under Part 1 of Article 405 of the Criminal Code (Concealment of a serious offense).

The cases of Volha Mayorava, Halina Dzerbysh, Viktar Snehur, Pavel Sava, and Razanovich family (Dzmitryi, Siarhei, Pavel, and Liuba) have already been brought to court.


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