Prosecution requests 19-year prison terms for Belarusian opposition leaders, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and Pavel Latushko, tried in absentia
Belarusian opposition leaders Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and Pavel Latushko are being tried in absentia in Belarus. They have been charged with conspiracy, organizing an extremist group, and undermining the government of Belarus and its state security.
The prosecution has requested that Tsikhanouskaya, a former presidential candidate, and the ex-minister of culture Pavel Latushko each be sentenced to 19 years in a penal colony. The prosecution also asks for 12-year prison terms for the other defendants: Maria Moroz, Olga Kovalkova, and Sergey Dylevsky.
Tsikhanouskaya and Latushko are facing additional charges of impostorship in government office.
The 2020 Belarusian presidential election led to mass protests when the opposition claimed that its results had been falsified in favor of Alexander Lukashenko. Tsikhanouskaya had supposedly come second in the race. Hundreds of thousands of Belarusians then protested the election outcome. After the authorities brutally suppressed those demonstrations, many of the country’s opposition politicians were forced to leave Belarus, while others went to prison.
All of the defendants in the case are presently outside of Belarus, and the trial takes place in their absence.