On January 16, the court of Pershamaiski district of Minsk passed a sentence in a criminal case against 22-year-old Yauhen Kalinouski, reports human rights center Viasna. The judge fully supported the state prosecutor.
Judge Maksim Trusevich found the man guilty under Part 1 of Article 342 (Acts of grossly violating public order) and Article 364 (Violence against police officers) of the Criminal Code and sentenced the guy to four years’ imprisonment in a penal colony. The defendant was also ordered to pay compensation for moral damages to the injured riot policemen: Ihar Astapuk – 1,000 rubles and Aleh Baraznou – 1,500 rubles.
Yauhen Kalinouski was accused of active participation in group actions that grossly violate public order and violence against police officers during a peaceful protest on July 14 – the day when Viktar Babaryka and Valer Tsapkala were denied registration as presidential candidates.
The man pleaded not guilty, stating that he did not violate public order and did not use violence against police officers, but tried to stop the unlawful actions towards citizens on the part of the victims.
Nevertheless, during the trial he apologized to the victims and partially compensated the moral damage caused by his actions – he transferred 500 rubles each to two children’s institutions, as requested by Astapuk and Baraznou.
In the court, Yauhen Kalinouski said: “I am sorry that the situation developed in such a way that there were facts of physical contact with the police, but I would like to emphasize that it was primarily due to the influence of the police officers on the persons who were there, which was morally and ethically condemned by the society of both the Republic of Belarus and the international community. And an unambiguous public assessment was given. And in principle I agree with this assessment and for that reason I acted under those circumstances, as it turned out”.
The defender asked the court to acquit the defendant, but if the court disagrees – to impose non-custodial punishment.
Yauhen Kalinouski plans to appeal the verdict.