One more participant of a protest rally against the rigged presidential election has been convicted.
Judge of the Maskouski district court of Minsk Alena Rudnitskaya agreed with the prosecutor and sentenced Svyatslau Baranovich to three years of restriction of liberty without sending him to a penal facility.
The activist was released on his own recognizance.
Svyataslau, 25, was born in the Vileika district of the Minsk region. He is a construction worker in Minsk.
Baranovich said in his final statement that unlike riot policemen, he had not hit anybody in head or attacked from behind.
The lawyer noted that acts by Baranovich at the square do not match the article of the Criminal Code on mass disorders: there were no disorders, arsons or property destruction. He asked to confess absence of elements of crime in his client’s acts.
Baranovich is the last person involved in the criminal case over mass disorders in Minsk on December 19, 2010. He is accused of violating part 2 of article 293 of the Criminal Code (taking part in mass disorders). The article provides from 3 to 8 years in prison.
Trial over Baranovich began on August 29, but was adjourned because injured policemen failed to appear in court. He was released on his own recognizance.
During the second trial, on September 28, the court heard evidence by the “injured” party – officers of the special purpose detachment of the Minsk police. All of them said they did not remember Baranovich and did not have claims to him. Some of witnesses did not appear in court and judge Alena Rudnitskaya adjourned trial till October 12. The prosecutor proposed to continue hearing the case in absence of some witnesses, but Baranovich’s lawyer insisted all of them should be present.
Svyataslau Baranovich admits his guilt partially. He does not deny he delivered hits in police shields, also with a baton, but he says he began to do this only after he had received a blow at his head with a baton. The defendant stresses that he did not beat police officers hitting only shields and crowd control barriers.