On April 30, a Minsk court passed sentence on Minsk resident Uladzimir Zhykhar. He was accused of snatching a traumatic gun from a police officer and beating some others.
According to the prosecution, during the march in Drazdy on September 13, 2020, eight riot policemen were hurt by the man’s actions: Dzyaidau, Kisyaliou, Hrybousky, Kolchyn, Nazarau, Lesnikau, Burak, and Krukau.
Judge Alyaksandr Yakunchykhin sentenced Uladzimir Zhykhar to 5 years of restricted freedom in a general regime penal colony and gave over 39,000 rubles of moral compensation to Minsktrans for the allegedly blocked roads and beaten riot police officers.
According to the HRC Vyasna, on April 28, the defense lawyer explained that the witness Alyaksandr Alyaksandravich, who detained Zhykhar, was not questioned at the pretrial hearing, as such a person did not seem to exist.
The lawyer also noted that the police blocked the streets, and it’s inadmissible to say that it was Zhykhar whose actions led to the traffic stop. In addition, the protocol of interrogation of September 15 argued that Zhykhar was moving on the pedestrian side of the road and thus could not hinder the movement of traffic.
Some buses allegedly hindered by Zhykhar either did not intersect with the protesters’ route or were not supposed to run at all on the day of the march.
During the interrogation in court, the police victims were confused in their testimony. Zhykhar said the police had beaten him, but the police refused to accept a statement about it at the police station.
In court, Uladzimir Zhykhar expressed hope that “one day the country will be free and our people will live in their own land.”