A witness of the terrorist attack believes that the death sentence for it has been passed on straw men or accomplices.
Samvel Saakyan is one of the many persons injured in the terrorist attack in Minsk metro. And one of the few who had taken part in the court trial over the persons charged with committing the attack, Dzmitry Kanavalau and Uladzislau Kavalyou. A year after the terrorist act in Minsk metro a reporter of the Ukrainian portal Tochka.net has a conversation with the terrorist attack survivor.
The thing is that Samvel is a lawyer. He asked the court to recognize him a civil plaintiff in this case. On numerous occasions Samvel said that there were many inconsistencies during the trial, but almost all his motions were dismissed.
In his interview Samvel Saakyan told about the trial, about buzzing in ears and his trips in metro. He only asked not to talk politics.
- Where exactly have you been during the blast?
- At the moment of the blast I was in the metro car, in fact near the epicenter. Even now I see it in my mind’s eye, I was just about to leave the car among the first passengers, but passengers who entered at the previous station pushed me deeper into the car, thus in fact they saved me from graver wounds, and probably from death.
At the moment of the explosion I felt the shock-wave effect of the explosive device detonation. And now, having seen the video recording of the surveillance cameras, I am inclined to think that not only a bag with an improvised explosive exploded, but something more serious as well.
- For how long have you been in hospital? You had hearing problems…
- I spent about two weeks in hospital, and later I had after-care for three weeks. In a month I had an ear surgery. Now my condition is stable, though I am troubled by buzzing in one ear. As doctors say, I would have to spend my whole life with that.
- Not every person can forget such awful events. Do to fear to go by metro now?
- You know, I am no coward… In just a few days people tried to crack jokes in the hospital’s ward. We certainly discussed the blast topic a lot, analyzed, supported each other. There is some discomfort left still, but life goes on.
Personally I do not have fear when I go by public transport, I actively use services of Minsk metro. I have become more attentive, I turn attention to any suspicious bags.
- Have you received any money compensation for traumas, and who else has received it?
- All persons who had been subjected to forensic medical examination, and a cause and effect relationship was established between the blast and injures was established, were paid material assistance by the state, and payments from the charitable account were made.
Besides, in the framework of the compulsory insurance of the civil liability of a transport company to passengers the insurer paid to passengers.
Was it a big or small sum? It all depends…
All payments were made to us, wounded, after the devaluation of the national currency was announced. Under the conditions of inflation and devaluation, rampant price rise, absence of foreign currency, Belarusian money was getting cheap very quickly. But this was great money at face value.
- What is your evaluation to the verdict to Kanavalau and Kavalyou and its hasty execution?
- My attitude is ambiguous. For instance, take the far-fetched evidence, it was insufficient. I am not inclined to justify them, but even now I am convinced that we have seen just small fry, accomplices, or probably clowns in a show which had been staged intentionally.
I have strong indications for that. The first thing, the physics of the blast in the metro and the direction of the shock wave. The second thing: actions of two suspicious persons 8 minutes before the blast. I have talked about that.
If readers would carefully study the 10 minutes’ video footage which is publicly accessible (from 47 to 50 minutes), they would become sure that two persons were at the station. They led a person with a bag, and then they left in a train which moved in the direction of Victory Square station.
The third thing. The unnatural conduct of a “terrorist” Kanavalau at the station, his posing in front of the cameras in the metro and total silence at court.
There were numerous glaring errors during the preliminary investigation, sometimes deceitful testimony of witnesses, for instance, of director of the real estate agency Armira, Valyantsina Dzerzhanovich.
- After the sentence was passed, did you have an impression that, as many Belarusians, you were powerless to change anything?
- Let us not mention politics now.
- I know that some of the eyewitnesses of the terrorist attack left Belarus. Have you considered such a variant for yourself?
- I certainly want to leave, but for other reasons.
As it is known, on April 11, 2011 a terrorist attack took place in Minsk metro station Kastrychnitskaya. An improvised explosive device was set off. As a result 15 persons were killed, 203 injured.
Despite numerous inconsistencies in the case, Dzmitry Kanavalau and Uladzislau Kavalyou were found guilty. The both were sentenced to capital punishment.