Criminal charges against Andrey Haudukou whose case is being tried in camera in Vitsebsk regional court have been modified. Now the activist may be sentenced to up to 2 years of imprisonment instead of 15. A verdict is to be brought on July 1.
Prosecutor General Aliaksandr Kaniuk did not mention the article under which Mr Haydukou would appear before court. At the very beginning he was accused of ‘intention to sign an agreement with U.S. secret services’, which may invoke sentencing to up to 2 years in jail. Later it became known that Mr Haydukou was charged with high treason, the maximum punishment being 15 years of imprisonment.
It is interesting that Valery Vakulchyk, Head of the Committee of State Security (KGB) told reporters in May, 2013 that defenders of ‘spy Andrey Haydukou ‘would definitely change their mind after the sentence is awarded’. The prosecution might have failed to amass a convincing body of evidence that the 23-year-old activist did gather information for foreign intelligence. Thus, it is not impossible that Haydukou will be up in court for ‘intention’.
The Deputy Head of unregistered organization “The Union of Young Intellectuals” was arrested by the KGB on November 8, 2012 in Vitsebsk. On November 13, 2013 KGB spokesman Aliaksandr Antanovich announced that Mr Haydukou “had gathered and passed political and economic information on the instructions of a foreign intelligence agency,” and that he had been caught in the act of making a dead drop.
A lot of oppositionists and human rights defenders believe that it is the social activism that caused Haydukou’s arrest.