17 January 2018, Wednesday, 21:02

Andrei Bandarenka sentenced to 3 years in colony

The former director of “Platform Innovation” has been found guilty of hooliganism, malicious hooliganism and especially malicious hooliganism.

The court of Kastrychnitski district of Minsk has sentenced Andrei Bandarenka to 4 years of deprivation of liberty in a colony with a reinforced regime, but due to the amnesty the term was shortened to 3 years, BelaPAN informs.

Bandarenka was found guilty of committing hooliganism, malicious hooliganism and especially malicious hooliganism (parts 1, 2 and 3 of the Article 339 of the Criminal Code). The verdict was proclaimed on August 12 by judge Ala Abakunchyk from the court of Kastrychnitski district of Minsk.

Speaking in the pleadings on August 7, the state accuser, deputy prosecutor of Kastrychnitski district Alyaksandr Barouski, asked the court to sentence the defendant to 5 years of deprivation of liberty: 6 years as a cumulative sentence, minus one year due to the amnesty. Barouski found that guilt of the human rights activist had been proved completely.

For her part Darya Lipkina asked the court to predefine the charge to Article 9.1 Part 1 of the Administrative Code (intended bodily harm). According to the lawyer, 5 years in a colony with reinforced regime asked by the prosecutor is too harsh sentence for Bandarenka.

Three episodes of committing crimes were imposed on Bandarenka.

The first one was an incident which took place on February 5 with participation of Artur Yavorski near “Ancient legend” café in Chkalau Street. According to the story of prosecution, Bandarenka hit the injured person, who asked for a lighter, in the face of the at least once, and inflicted light bodily harm (Article 339 Part 1 of the Criminal Code). The defendant claimed that Yavorski insulted him when he gave him a lighter, that is why he pushed the guy off trying go away, and hit the guy in the face by chance.

There was a witness in this episode, “Alisa Durmanova”, a woman under an assumed name. Investigators used measures of defence to her, being afraid for her life and health. The unknown woman was giving testimony in the court without any visual contact with the participants of the trial. She said that she was a witness of the conflict and notified the police of it, having identified Bandarenka.

The second episode was a quarrel on March 27 in the night. It took place in the entrance of an apartment building in Chkalau Street, where Bandarenka lives. It is referred to a conflict with his neighbour Tatyana Rodion (Tatsyana Radzivon). Investigators claim that Bandarenka hit Radzivon by a bunch of keys; that is why his actions were qualified under Article 339 Part 3 of the Criminal Code. The defendant denies he used the keys. Bandarenka said he tried to shove Radzivon off, when she seized his finger by her teeth and stayed in this position, and he could inflict bodily harm to Radzivon by a zip fastener on the sleeve of his jacket, trying to break free. Experts’ examination has not found any traces of the victim’s genetic material at the bunch of keys of the human rights activist’s flat, and the court refused to commission an expert evaluation of his jacket and zippers.

The third episode concerned the events of March 27 in the night in the police department of Kastrychnitski district of Minsk, where Bandarenka first knocked the phone from the hands of Radzivon (she was making pictures of him while he was sitting with his eyes shut), and then he kicked in the face Radzivon’s mother Natallya Traulka (Article 339 Part 2 of the Criminal Code). The human rights activist justified his actions in the court by saying that he thought that somebody who was approaching him was Radzivon, who wanted to make a picture of him again. The bodily harm to the injured person was qualified as light bodily injury, which didn’t cause short-term impairment of health.

In all cases Andrei Bandarenka was drunk, and as stated by investigators, he acted from motives of hooliganism and with exceptional cynicism.

The defendant and his lawyer do not agree with such classifying of the human rights activist’s actions. In the court Bandarenka offered apologies to the affected party several times, he plead guilty in the second and third episodes, stated he was ready to cover moral and material damages to Radzivon and Traulka. However they had not enter any actions, but they said that they had not had an aim to isolate Bandarenka from the society.

Andrei Bandarenka was detained on April 1 and since that time he was kept in the remand prison #1 of the Interior Affairs Ministry.

Photo by “Radio Svaboda”