Minsk businessman gets 3-year jail term. He tried to stop police car during protests

On February 4, Ivan Kanyaveha, a local entrepreneur and director of the Horse&Vega concert agency, was tried in Zavadski district court of the Belarusian capital city.

The Minsker was charged under Art. 342-1 of the Criminal Code (‘participating in group actions that grossly violate public order’), Art. 364 (‘violence against police officers’), Art. 218-1 (‘intentional property destruction or damage’).

From 00:40 to 00:45 Ivan Kanyaveha was on the roadway at the intersection of Bahdanovich, Yanka Kupala and Starazhouskaya streets, which led to traffic disruptions, the prosecution said. According to the authorities’ version, the defendant tried to prevent law enforcers from performing their duties and threatened to use violence against them; he also hit at least two blows on a traffic police car.

He did slap on the vehicle twice, Kanyaveha said in court. However, he states he just wanted it to stop and intended to draw the driver’s attention. The businessman stressed that the police car could have run at high speed into a crowd of people on the road. Kanyaveha’s fingerprints remained on its surface, which helped the police identify him.

Ivan Kanyaveha pleaded not guilty. He only admitted that on the night of August 10 he had taken part in a protest rally. Judge Katsyaryna Murashka sentenced the man to three years of imprisonment.

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