The verdict was announced today by the judge of the Minsk Zavodski District Court Anzhela Kastsiukevich. Prosecutor Mikalai Dziatsel requested the same punishment yesterday.
Our colleagues, who are recognized as political prisoners, have been found guilty of absurd charges of "causing injury not qualifying for theft, committed by a group of persons in collusion or major injury." Nasha Niva prisoners were tried for paying utility bills at tariffs for individuals, not legal entities.
In their last statement, the defendants spoke about their relatives, for whom their imprisonment was a big blow, and expressed words of support to those who stood in solidarity.
Yahor Martsinovich and Andrei Skurko have been recognized as political prisoners. They came under the crackdown for their media work.
Initially, the injury was estimated at 3,500 Belarusian rubles (about $1050). Later the amount increased to 10,000 Belarusian rubles ($3000). Journalists had compensated for injuries before the trial started, so Minskvodakanal and Minskenerga withdrew their lawsuits.