Sannikov is responsible for organizing mass riots on the post-election evening when Minsk was swept by more than 20 thousand people demonstrations, decided the judge Natalla Chastviertakova.
Four other defendants are charged with participating in the mass riots. An activist of the “Say Truth” movement, Alekh Khnyedchyk was sentenced to three and half year in prison. Fiodar Mirzanayu – a student, Uladzimir Yaromyenak – a Young Front activist and the youngest defendant, 19-year-old Ilya Vasylyevich were sentenced to three years in prison.
After the trial finished, people in the court corridors started to stout „Freedom!”. One of them was the mother of Mizanayu – she was not allowed to enter the court room, because during one of the previous hearings she was expelled by the judge for disrupting the order.
Sannikov’s trial has lasted eleven days. During the court hearing, the former presidential candidate testified that he was subjected to inhumane treatment and the head of KGB threatened to kill his wife and children. – I went through tortures, humiliations and threats – he said in his last words. He also said that his trial was a political account settling with election rival.
In the indictment act it was stated that Sannikov had expressed „made-up statements about undemocratic character of the elections and rigged voting” before the elections were held. He called people to come to an illegal demonstrations, “he had planned before how to provoke the crowd to turn them aggressive”. During the demonstration, “he led the rioting crowd, all unified as a destructive force”, using it “as a tool for his own purpose”, which was an infiltration of the government’s building.
The young participants of the demonstration were charged with „forceful actions attempting to enter” the government building and attempts to break the police line. None of the policemen who testified during the trial as witness’, hasnot recognized any of the defendants as active rioters.
Sannikov’s lawyers did not agree with his sentence. – There was no mass rioting. Sannikov, in his testimony stressed clearly that the of the December 19th demonstration was intended to be peaceful and non-violent – said Maryna Kavaleuskaya. – We think that the court dismissed without any basis defence’s motions to summon certain witness’ and consider more evidence in that case – added Andrei Varvashevich.