On April 5, a verdict in the case of 50-year-old Yaraslau Zbarouski was announced in Pershamayski district court of the Belarusian capital city. The Minsker whom the Belarusian human rights community recognised as a political prisoner was arrested in late September.
According to the prosecution’s version, the man blocked the road with his own car and mounted barricades near the Riga shopping centre on the night of August, 11.
Yaraslau Zbarouski pleads not guilty, stating that then he just accidentally stuck in a traffic jam and drove home as soon as he could; he admits getting out of the car to take a photo of the protest rally for his personal archive.
However, Zbarouski was found guilty under Part 1 of Art. 342 of the Criminal Code (‘organising actions that grossly violate public order’). Judge Maksim Trusevich has sentenced him to three years of the restriction of liberty. The defendant has been released on his own recognisance in court, but soon he is to be sent to an open-type correction facility. The court has also ruled to take into account 192 days he spent in custody, one day in jail is to be equal to two days of being under the restriction of liberty.
In addition, the Minsktrans public transport agency filed a BYN 21,831 lawsuit against the man, asking for covering alleged losses from traffic disruprion at that noght. It is to be considered as part of civil procedure, Zbarouski’s car might be confiscated.