Mother of the defendant in Minsk metro bomb trial: the court is not objective

Ludmila Kavaliova, the mother of Uladzislav Kavalyow accused of terrorism, does not believe her son is guilty. The prosecutor asked for the capital punishment for help in organizing a bomb attack in Minsk metro, which left hundreds injured and 15 people dead.

“All they found in our house were fire crackers for kids, these are not explosive materials. Every boy plays with it during their childhood.” – Ms. Kavaliova told Belsat. She stressed that the indictment is based solely on her son’s testimony, which later on he took back. “I have an impression that they tried to blame everything that happened in our area on Konovawov [the second defendant], despite the fact that explosions and car burning took place after he had been detained.” – she commented. She talked about the case of car burning in the neighborhood where Zmitser Kanavawov lives. “Despite the fact that the technical expertise shown that car burned from a match, not from an explosive substance, and the owner of the car had not seen Zmitser, but some other boys, Kanavawov was still charged.” – Ms. Kavaliova added.

In her opinion, the trial is not fair. “It is played out by the judge and prosecution. All the defence motions are dismissed, that including motions supported by the victims of the explosion”. She is conviced that her son was subjected to a pressure during the investigation, which led him to plead guilty. The same situation occured in 2005, she pointed, when authorities quickly found allegded perpetrators who also immediately plead guilty.

Ludmila Hrazanova, a human rights defender, thinks that the investigating officer and the prosecutor are trying to press charges against two people who are unable to prepare such sophisticated explosive materials as those used in the bomb attack. In her opinion, the trial reminds of those conducted under stalinist regime, when people were convicted only based on their own testimony obtained by coercion.

According to Belarusian human rights defender and a former investigator Aleh Vowchak, the authorities from the very beginning assumed and informed widely that the perpetrators were found and the investigation was meant only to confirm their thesis. “People got promoted, their salaries were increased. Now, they cannot admitt it was a mistake. They would have to get fired, some of them would have to go on trial.” – thinks Mr. Vowchak. Lukashenka’s need to prove they can find those guilty within 24 hours, is an evidence that the country is under authoritarian rule which does not respect human life, he concluded.

Mr. Vowchak added that among the Belarusian authorities, there is a group which could have hoped for such attack to take place. “The investigation did not make it clear who initiated and executed the terrorist attack, while it had to be people with military engineering skills.”


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