A court in Babruysk sentenced three men accused of setting on fire on October 14th, 2010 a local KGB building. According to Viasna human rights center, two defendants – Artsiom Prokoneka and Paval Syromolotov are anarchists. The third defendant was Jahuen Vaskovych, an independent journalist and a supporter of the Christian Democratic Party. The atack was meant as a gesture of solidaruty with activists arrested in automn on 2010.
Based on articles 218(3) and 339(2) of the Belarusian Criminal Code, the three men were charged with „intended acts of vandalism“ and „purpuseful acts causing major damage“.
Their lawyers asked the court to consider the pressuere that defendants were subjected to during their interrogations. The defense stressed numerous times that there was no intention of buring the whole building but just causing a minor damage. They also claimed that the losses of 235 000 rubles (roughly 50 euro) sustained by the KGB, has been already covered.
Syromolotov and Prokopienka plead guilty on the charges and asked to court to mitigate the sentence.
Vaskovich, in his concluding speech, stated he does not regret the committed act, adding that it is his holly obligation to protect Belarusian national values. „Long live Belarus“ was his final sentence.
Also yesterday in Minsk, a court trial against five anarchists began. Maksim Vietkiny, Jauhen Sielivonchik, Ihor Olinievich, Mikolai Dzedzko and Aleksander Frankievhich are facing charges of attacking government buildings. The prosecution claims that they threw Molotov coctails at the Ministry on National Defense in 2009 and on Russian embassy and the arrest building in 2010. They are also accused of attacking Belarusbank and Moscow-Minsk Bank.
Two day ago, someone threw Molotov coctails at the court building in Minsk, where just a day before Adrei Sannikov had been sentenced to five years in prison. Police arrested two suspects: Aleskandr Kudlayeu, an acitivist from the European Belarus movement and his son.