(Moscow) A Belarusian prosecutor on Tuesday requested 12 years’ imprisonment against Maria Kolesnikova, one of the great figures in the protest, who is accused of trying to overthrow the authoritarian regime of President Alexander Lukashenko.
Posted on Aug 31, 2021 at 11:09 am
The trial of Ms. Kolesnikova, 39, which began at the beginning of August, crowns the month-long settlement of all disputes in Belarus with mass arrests, forced evictions of opponents and the liquidation of NGOs and independent media.
Maria Kolesnikova was arrested in September after spectacularly resisting an attempt by authorities to evict her from her own country by jumping out of a car window and tearing up her passport.
Ms. Kolesnikova has been detained for 11 months and is on trial with her ex-lawyer, Maxime Znak. Both are accused of “conspiring to seize power”, “calls for measures to undermine national security” and “creating an extremist formation”.
“Kolesnikova and Znak face up to 12 years in prison. The closed-door negotiations took place today and the prosecutor has requested this verdict, ”said the press service of Viktor Babaryko, another major rival of President Alexander Lukashenko, who was sentenced in July to 14 years in prison and for whom the two defendants worked .
During Tuesday’s hearing, Maxim said about the legal part and Maria had a more emotional intervention. She spoke about her values and those of the Babaryko team, ”added the source.
The verdict in this case is expected to be pronounced on September 6th.
Since the contested re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko a year ago, followed by historic protests against power, the Belarusian authorities have carried out relentless repression. Thousands of opponents were arrested or had to go into exile.