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Mikhail Hladki: 8 years in jail for nothing, no compensation provided

2014 2014-04-09T16:45:37+0300 2014-04-09T18:09:22+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Mikhail Hladki

Mikhail Hladki

In 2003, Mikhail Hladki was sentenced to 8 year of imprisonment for allegedly killing his brother. He served almost the whole prison term before it was found that the real killer was Eduard Lykau, who is now kept in the Minsk remand prison after being sentenced to death.

History of murder of his mother and brother

Mikhail Hladki's brother, Viktar, was repeatedly convicted. After the last prison term he returned to his mother who lived in the Minsk district. He didn't work, abused alcohol, ofter beat his mother and took away her pension wage. One day a fellow prisoner, Eduard Lykau, came to him. While in the colony, Viktar Hladki boasted to him how wealthy he was, having a house and a motorcycle. In fact, all this belonged to his brother Mikhail. On October 9, 2002 they drank alcoholic beverages together with Eduard. A conflict arose between them, and Lykau started beating Viktar Hladki. The mother tried to intercede for her son, but the guest stabbed her with knife several times, after which she died. Then he killed Viktar with an axe.

The following day the younger brother, Mikhail, came there. He knew that his mother had received the pension and wanted to take a part of the money and buy foodstuffs for her, so that Viktar wouldn't squander all the money. Having seen the mother's body lying on the bed and the brother's body on the floor, he hit him with the axe several times.

Later, the forensic expertise showed that Viktar Hladki died the day before, which means that he hit the already dead body.

He called the police and the ambulance on his own. Mikhail Hladki had an alibi – he spent the whole day of the murder with his neighbor Maryia, whom he helped to insulate the barn. She confirmed it at the trial, but her testimony was ignored.

There were also other witnesses. One of the neighbors, Vasil, said he had seen Viktar going home with an unknown man the day before the murder. However, this neighbor wasn't even questioned by the investigators.

At first, Mikhail was indicted on two murders – of the mother and brother, and could be sentenced t death for it, as it is provided by the Belarusian legislation. Later, the investigation changed the charges, as a result of which Mikhail Hladki was sentenced to eight years in prison, though the prosecutor requested nine years. He was released after five years in jail, and also did correctional labor for 18 moths after it, giving one fourth of his wage to the state.

Remarkably, he pleaded guilty in court. The man explains that after the examination in the psychiatric hospital in Navinki he was ready to confess to anything.

Real killer was found 9 years later

In 2012, Mikhail Hladki was told that the real killer of his mother and brother was found, his named was Eduard Lykau.

His life story resembles the plot of a detective story. Before killing the aforementioned people he was repeatedly convicted for hooliganism, thefts and non-payment of alimony, which means that his fingerprints should have been kept in the database of criminals. That's why it is unclear how the investigators conducted the examination of the crime scene and why Mr. Lykau didn't fall in sight of the police officers. The investigators blamed the Hladki brothers, saying that Viktar killed his mother while inebriated, and Mikhail killed him to take revenge.

Due to the improperly conducted investigation, Lykau managed to conceal his crime until 2011. Thanks to this, he committed three more murders after it. It's quite interesting that during this time he was also imprisoned for hooliganism and thefts. However, the investigators learned that he killed five people only in 2011, when he was detained as a suspect in the murder of a resident of Minsk district.

In November 2013 the Minsk Regional Court sentenced Eduard Lykau to death. He appealed against the verdict.

Minsk District Court ignores Mr. Hladki's appeals

Meanwhile, Mikhail Hladki decided to seek redress. By law, he is entitled to compensation for moral and physical suffering and the loss resulting from his imprisonment. His labor record must also be restored.

However, the court doesn't hurry to restore Mr. Hladki in his rights. On February 6, 2014 applied to the Minsk District Court which had issued the accusative verdict to him. However, he didn't receive a written answer, and the court secretary told him to apply to the Minsk Regional Court. On April 8 Mr. Hladki had to file a complaint with Chairman of the Minsk Regional Court. He still asks the court to take measures to restore the violated rights (in particular, to recognize his right for the recovery of the damages), determine the amount of property damage which is to be recovered, and send him a copy of the judgment which reversed the verdict issued by the Minsk District Court in 2003.

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