Fri, 05 Mar 2021

Belarus issues first death sentence this year

16 Jan 2021, 03:18 GMT+10

Moscow [Russia], January 15 (ANI/Sputnik): A court in Belarus re-sentenced a man to capital punishment on murder charges, Minsk-based human rights center Viasna said on Friday.

"At a court hearing held today in the city of Sluck [Slutsk], the Minsk Regional Court handed down a death verdict to Viktar Skrundzik on charges of killing two elderly persons and attempting to murder an 85-year-old woman in January 2019," the center said in a news release.

Two other defendants in the trial were sentenced to 18-year and 22-year prison terms and another one to one year of correctional labor, according to the center.

Skrundzik was initially sentenced to death last March. He appealed the verdict, and the court overturned the death sentence last June and referred the case to the Minsk Regional Court.

Belarus is the only country in Europe that still practices execution, one of the main reasons behind its bar from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. At a referendum in 1996, Belarusians voted by 80.5 percent to keep the death penalty. (ANI/Sputnik)

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