Shutau's murder witness to serve 10 years in jail after appeal court leaves his verdict unchanged

Anastasiya Baranchuk, the daughter of murdered Henadz Shutau, had no hope for an appeal and was preparing to turn to an international court in advance after she “went through all the steps” in Belarus.

Alyaksandr Kardzyukou, witness to the murder of Henadz Shutau, in court. February 19, 2021.
Photo: Belsat

On May 14, the Supreme Court of Belarus considered the appeal against the verdict of Brest regional court in the case of murdered Henadz Shutau and witness to the murder Alyaksandr Kardzyukou on August 11, 2020, in Brest.

At that trial, Judge Svyatlana Kramieuskaya found the murdered man guilty of resisting the security forces but did not punish him. Later the charges were reclassified to “attempted murder” (part 2 of article 139 of the Criminal Code). As the state prosecutor demanded, he was sentenced to ten years of a strict regime colony. At that court session serviceman, Raman Haurylau admitted that he had shot Shutau but was recognized as a victim.

The conflict that led to Shutau’s murder was caught on several street surveillance cameras. “Mediazone” has published the video and an analysis of the footage. Although the very moment of the murder is not seen on any of the recordings, it is clear that, contrary to the official version, Shutau and Kardzyukou did not attack the military but were holding metal pipes.

The Brest court also found that armed forces were used against civilians during the protests, that the military was sent to the city in civilian clothes and with firearms. Maj gave the order to use the armed military during the protests. Gen. Vadzim Dzyanisenka, commander of the special operations forces. He explained that he was following the orders of the Defense Minister. “The Belarusian People’s Tribunal” published a document confirming that Alyaksandr Lukashenka authorized the use of the military to disperse demonstrations by a secret decree in 2012.

What’s next

Brest human rights activist Raman Kislyak told Belsat that only relatives of the case participants were allowed to the hearing. Neither he nor the journalists were allowed in. The court hearing was pretty short, he says. They listened to the prosecutor and the lawyer, the representative of the accused – Shutau’s daughter. Finally, they decided not to satisfy the appeal and leave the regional court’s decision unchanged.

Kislyak spoke about the appeal as “a formality to be fulfilled” and noted that neither the regional court nor the Supreme Court met the criterion of independence in the case. In Kislyak’s view, the entire hearing was designed to exonerate the military, one of whom committed the murder and justify the use of weapons.

“Here the possibility of appealing to the UN Human Rights Committee opens up, the relatives are thinking about it,” Kislyak explains. ” Most of the committee decisions are not implemented or fulfilled by Belarus. However, we have to go step by step, independent expertise is needed.”