Taras Avatarau, a resident of the Belarusian town of Navapolatsk and a volunteer fighter of Ukraine’s Right Sector, has been sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment on Thursday in Frunzenski district court of Minsk.
Mr Avatarau was detained at Minsk railway station on November, 26. According to the police, the arrestee had a gun, an armoured vest and explosives.
Avatarau was accused of smuggling weapons (Art. 228-2 of the Criminal Code) and illegal actions in respect of ammunition and firearms (Art. 295-2). He admitted partial guilt saying he did have a signal grenade and a gun while travelling in Belarus. At the same time, he claimed he never took weapons across the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, but found the items mentioned above in the Belarusian city of Homiel.
Judge Zhanna Zhukouskaya returned a verdict of guilty and passed a sentence of 5 years in medium-security prison on Mr Avatarau. The convict will remain in custody until the sentence goes into effect.
The evidentiary items – Avatarau’s vest, gun and boots – will be destroyed.
After the sentence, Avatarau attempted to make a statement saying “Yesterday Alyaksandr Lukashenka said he was responsible for the Investigative Committee…”. But he failed to be heard out because the police ordered all the people present to leave the courtroom.
Avatarau’s mother refused to talk to journalists.
According to the Belarusian Interior Ministry, the country’s law enforcement agencies opened 135 criminal cases against citizens of Belarus who fought or are fighting in Donbas.