Defendants in Minsk metro boming give their final speech

Today a trial in case of April 11th Minsk metro bombing has finished. The sentence against Zmitser Kanavawav and Uladzislav Kovaliow will be announced on November 30th. Both are facing a death penalty under charges of committing a terrorist attack, which left 15 people dead.

Kanavawav, accused of conducting three bomb attacks in 2005, 2008 and 2011, did not use his right to give a final speech. The second defendant in his final address to the court, denied his own and Kanavawav’s participation in conducting a terrorist attack. “I am ashamed that I showed weakness and testified against Dima [Zmitser Kanavawav] during the initial investigation”. He explained that his entire testimony was extorted by threats and pressure of the state officials. “However, in court I gave true testimony and I hope it amended partly my mistake”.

Kovaliow plead guilty to setting a fire cracker in a stair case in some house, however circumstances he described where different from those presented by the prosecution. He said he was 15 years old at the time and it was just a minor, childish incident.

Kovaliow also addressed the issue of subjecting defendants to a pressure. He said he heard Kanavawav screaming, while he was being interrogated. The defendant was also interrogated numerous times without a protocol and instructed what to say during questioning and confrontations. At first he couldn’t understand why Kanavawav was accused of a series of minor crimes. – Only later did I understand that a story about a man who one beautiful day detonated a bomb in a metro station sounds improbable. – said Kovaliow.


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