General Prosecutor’s Office sends case of Kalesnikava and Znak to court

On the left side: Maksim Znak, Maryia Kalesnikava, Illya Saley. Photo: @franakviacorka / Twitter

According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, members of the Coordinating Council are accused of an attempt to seize power and run an extremist organization.

Maryia Kalesnikava and Maksim Znak are accused of committing crimes under part 1 of Article 357 (“Conspiracy to seize power unconstitutionally”), part 3 of Article 361 (“Appeals to seize power through mass media and the Internet”), and Part 1 of Article 361-1 (“Establishment or management of an extremist formation”) of the Criminal Code.

In total, the three articles can result in up to 24 years in prison.

According to the case materials, Kalesnikava and Znak, together with other people no later than July 16, 2020, entered into a conspiracy to seize state power unconstitutionally. The participants distributed the roles in the crime against the state and proceeded with the execution.

Allegedly, according to the plan, they declared themselves representatives of the overwhelming majority of citizens of Belarus, prepared and publicly voiced statements about the victory of Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya in the elections, the loss of confidence in the government and administration by the people of Belarus, and the weakness of the current authorities. They also called for strikes at state enterprises.

More than once, they, directly and indirectly, called to recognize the invalid and Lukashenka illegitimate elections.

Maryia and Maksim were detained at the beginning of September 2020: Znak was detained in Babaryka’s office. Kalesnikava was taken to the border with Ukraine, but she refused to leave the country.