The Supreme Court of Belarus refutes claims that the trial over the case of Minsk subway explosion was carried out hastily. According to deputy chairman of the Supreme Court of Belarus Valeri Kalinkovich, the guilt of convicted Dmitri Konovalov and Vladislav Kovalev was indisputably proved, while the death sentence was enforced in compliance with all procedures.
"The criminal case against Konovalov and Kovalev has been considered by the Supreme Court in strict accordance with the law. Guilt of the convicted was undeniably proved at the trial and caused the court no doubt," said Valeri Kalinkovich on the air of the Belarusian TV on March 19.
The representative of the Supreme Court ensured that all proceedings provided by the Belarusian legislation were also observed after passing the death sentence. In particular, Vladislav Kovalev and his lawyer, who’d filed a supervisory appeal, were introduced to the record of the hearings. However, the arguments of the convict did not convince the judges – they had no doubt of his guilt.
"Thus, the statements of Kovalev’s relatives, some other people and the media that an innocent person was allegedly subjected to the death penalty, are groundless," said Valeri Kalinkovich.
The Supreme Court considered allegations of too hasty enforcement of the sentence as unfounded, too. Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Court recalls that the Court passed its verdict on November 30, 2011, while the refusal to pardon those sentenced to death was signed by the President in early March.
International Federation of Human Rights has condemned the death sentence upon Konovalov and Kovalev
Meanwhile, international human rights organizations persist in condemning the execution of Dmitri Konovalov and Vladislav Kovalev. Thus, an official statement of the International Federation of Human Rights, issued on March 19, states that the penalty has demonstrated "a complete lack of an independent judiciary in Belarus."
"This execution is more of an attempt to silence the two key witnesses," reads the statement of the federation. Head of the organization Souhayr Belhassen believes that the fault of the young people has not been unequivocally proved, while the trial has been unfair.
International Federation of Human Rights has again urged the authorities to abolish the death penalty or set a moratorium on its use.
Similar appeals are heard in the official statements of the Latvian Foreign Ministry and the French Embassy in Minsk, published on March 19.
As Telegraf previously reported, March 17, relatives of Vladislav Kovalev received a letter from the Supreme Court of March 16. According to the report, the sentence upon Vladislav Kovalev had been enforced. Later, there appeared information about the execution of Dmitri Konovalov.
Such a rapid execution of the sentence was denounced by representatives of several human rights organizations, European institutions, in particular, the European Union and the Public Chamber of Russia. Against this background, a number of countries also urged the EU to tighten sanctions against the Belarusian authorities, who’re "still neglecting the rights of their citizens."