In Belarus, the prosecutor’s office has asked the court to sentence former presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya in absentia to 19 years in prison. BelTA reports.
The same mandate was requested by the public prosecutor’s office for the former Minister of Culture of Belarus Pavel Latushko. The prosecutor asked the ex-head of the Tikhanovskaya campaign headquarters Maria Moroz, members of the opposition Coordinating Council Olga Kovalkova and Sergei Dylevsky to be sentenced to 12 years in prison. Tikhanovskaya, Kovalkova and Moroz, according to the prosecutor, should serve their sentences in a general regime colony, Latushko and Dylevsky in a high-security colony.
In addition, the prosecutor asks the court to impose a fine of 37,000 Belarusian rubles (988,000 Russian rubles) on Tikhanovskaya and a fine of $10,000 on Pavel Latushko.
The five opponents are abroad. They are accused of plotting to seize power, creating and leading an extremist formation, calling for the seizure of power and imposing sanctions against Belarus, as well as inciting hatred and discord on the basis of social belonging.
Tikhanovskaya is also charged with recreating and directing an extremist formation, unauthorized appropriation of the title and power of an official, involving participation in negotiations with representatives of foreign states, obstruction of the work of the Central Election Commission, preparation for mass riots, treason against the state and other crimes.
Latushko is accused of having exceeded official powers, which led to serious consequences, and of having accepted a large bribe.
On August 9, 2020, presidential elections were held in Belarus. During the election campaign, the main rivals of incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko, who is seeking a sixth term, were considered to be the ex-head of Belgazprombank Viktor Babariko and the founder of Hi-Tech Park Valery Tsepkalo. However, Babariko was arrested two months before election day for taking hundreds of millions of dollars abroad, and Tsepkalo left the country after the Interior Ministry launched a preliminary investigation into his activities.
Tikhanovskaya, the wife of popular blogger Sergei Tikhanovski, who was also under arrest at the time, became the sole opposition candidate. After the vote, the CEC announced that Lukashenka won 80% of the vote and Tikhanovskaya 10%. The official results sparked mass protests that lasted several months. A number of opposition politicians and activists, including Tikhanovskaya, left the country, others were arrested. The Belarusian center for human rights “Viasna” has nearly 1,500 political prisoners in the country.
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