No mitigation: Belarusian Viktar Skrundzik still under death sentence


Passing death sentence. Slutsk, 15 January 2021. Photo:

On Friday, Minsk regional court held a visiting session in the town of Slutsk

The cases of four residents of Slutsk district were retried; the men were accused of murdering two pensioners and attempting to kill an 85-year-old woman.

In 2019, Viktar Skrundzik, together with Valyantsin Bushnin and Vitaly Metezh, burned several pensioners alive and stole their money. According to the verdict, the men committed the crime in a state of intoxication. In February 2020, the court passed a death sentence on Skrundzik, but a few months later, the Supreme Court of Belarus upheld his appeal: the man who asked the authorities to re-define the charge and mitigate the sentence. As a result, the criminal case was reported to be sent for revision, but no further details were published.

Today, however, Mr Skrundzik has been sentenced to death again.

Notably, Belarusian MPs are reported to mull over abolishing the death penalty in the country. The proposal to remove the option from the Belarusian Criminal Code is the most revolutionary item included in the second package of amendments which is being developed now.

Belarus MPs to mull over abolishing death penalty