The trial of 45-year-old businessman Alyaksandr Trotski continues in Minsk City Court. The Belarusian authorities claim the man attempted to kill a police officer.
On August 12, amid the post-election protests in the country, Alyaksandr Trotski drove his own car in the city centre. When he was making a turn to Victors’ Avenue, about 10 armed men in black stopped the car and ordered the driver to step out of the vehicle. As they failed to introduce themselves, he refused. After they threatened him with guns, Trotski got scared and pulled off. When doing so, he slightly hit a policeman. Trotski was immediately overhauled, taken out of the car and severely beaten. Reportedly, the officers put a gun into his mouth.
At first, the driver was taken to hospital, where he was diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and blackout. During his stay, he had to be handcuffed to the bed when lying. Later, the man was transferred to the pre-trial detention centre on Valadarski Street. He was accused of ‘violence or threat of violence against a police officer’ (Article 364 of the Criminal Code); then he was also charged with ‘attempted crime’ (Art. 14) and ‘murder of a police officer’ (Art. 362).
Alyaksandr Trotski pleads not guilty and asks the court to acquit him. Trotsky says that he suddenly left the scene because he feared for his own life. The defendant admits that he hit the traffic police officer by accident and expresses his readiness to cover all losses.
The victim, police major Uladzimir Yurau, got negligible leg injuries on that day. Yurau is seeking to receive compensation totalling to 20,000 rubles, which is supported by the prosecution. In addition, public prosecutor Anton Tsyumentsau has demanded the defendant be sentenced to 11 years in a medium security penal colony.
If the judge takes heed of the prosecution’s version, Trotski might get the strictest sentence of those imposed in the cases linked to the protests. So far, it is Alyaksandr Kardzyukou, a witness to the murder of Henadz Shutau in Brest, who has received the longest term – 10 years of imprisonment.