The delay in pronouncing the sentence is most probably to be associated with Vladimir Putin‘s tomorrow’s visit to Minsk, claim experts. According to Lyudmila Hraznovy, a human rights activist, the Belarusian authorities will use the defendant’s sentence as a bargaining chip in the economic negotiations. “If I have previously thought that they will trade only with the West the fate of political prisoners, today’s decision by judge Zanna Zukouska, reduced my confidence.” – she added.
Harzanova acknowledges the clever use of all possible methods by Belarusian authorities to improve the economic situation in the country. Belarus is hoping Russia will deliver economic assistance in the form of loans in order to stabilize the currency market in the country. Yesterday Lukashenka said that Russia is willing to loan up to EUR 6 billion. But this information has not been confirmed by the Russian side. The matter will be discussed during the visit of Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin.
Anatol Lyabedzka, leader of the United Civic Party reminded that Russia has often pointed to the fact that Belarus does not respect human rights. – They (Belarusian authorities – ed.) has not responded even once to the Russian Foreign Ministry statements, and this decision (the delay in pronouncing the sentence) can be viewed as a minor but a clear response to the Russians, and now that case (prisoner’s fate) will much depend on them.” – he said in an interview with Belsat. According to Mr. Lyabedzka, the courts were ordered „to solve“ all the political prisoners‘ cases by the end of the week.
Today the last court hearing was held, before the sentence pronouncement in the trial against Uladzmir Niaklayev, Vital Rymasheusky, Siarhey Vazniak, Alexander Fiaduta and Nasta Palazanka. Judgement is to be announced at 4 pm, on Friday.
Another court in Minsk continued the hearing against former presidential candidates -Mikalai Statkevich and Dzmitriy Vuss, and five other demonstrators: Alexander Klaskousky, Andrei Panka, Alexander Kviatkievich, Artsiom Hrybkov, Dzmitriy Bulanova.