Death row inmate Viktar Paulau was ‘most likely executed’, the convict’s sister Raisa told Andrey Paluda, coordinator of the campaign ‘Human Rights Defenders against the Death Penalty in Belarus’.
The execution has not yet been officially confirmed, but the staff of pre-trial prison No. 1 in Minsk, which houses the country’s only death row, told the Paulau’s lawyer that the convict was no longer staying at the facility, human rights centre Viasna reports.
The death convict’s sister says that she has not received any letters from Viktar for six weeks. Moreover, a few days ago, she was not allowed to visit the prison to see her brother. All these things suggest that Paulau was executed, the human rights defenders stressed.
In July 2019, Vitsebsk region court found Viktar Paulau guilty of murdering two elderly women and sentenced him to death.
The murder was committed on 30 December 2018 in the village of Prysushyna, Vitsebsk region. The fifty years old Viktar Paulau came to the house of his sister pensioners and beat them severely. The intruder stole money and several bottles of wine. The bodies of the women were not discovered until a few days later.
In turn, Paulau’s lawyer tried to convinced the judicial board that the murder was a result of friction and had been provoked by one of the women who allegedly insulted the accused, as she had was unhappy with the quality of the shed he had built. According to the defence counsel, the defendant had no purpose to kill the women – he simply came to buy the wine that the women were selling.
In the last word, the defendant expressed regret for what he had done and asked the court not to apply the exceptional measure to him.