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Minsk terrorists ‘acted alone’, in court soon

The case of the Minsk metro explosion will soon be forwarded to the court, Andrei Shved, Deputy Prosecutor General, head of the investigations department of the Prosecutor-General’s Office, told media on 1 August.

The preliminary investigation into the explosions that happened in Minsk’s metro in April 2011, in Minsk in 2008 and in Vitebsk in 2005 is over. The papers have been forwarded to the public prosecutor for the sake of starting court proceedings. The Supreme Court of Belarus is most likely to be the one to hear the case.

Andrei Shved said that there are two charged offenders in this case – Kovalyov and Konovalov. The former is accused of taking part in 15 unlawful acts, including being accomplice to an act of terrorism in the Minsk metro, illegal turnover of explosives, the failure to report a crime, concealment of a crime instrument.

Konovalov is accused of committing over 30 unlawful acts, including four acts of terrorism, illegal turnover of explosives, particularly malicious disruptive behavior, malicious damage of property in a way dangerous for the public.

The Deputy Prosecutor General underlined that the charged offenders had been granted the right to defend themselves from the very first day. The charged offenders and their lawyers have submitted no complaints after reading 550 volumes of the criminal case papers.

Asked whether investigation had found any masterminds behind the terrorist attack on Minsk’s metro, Andrei Shved said that no data had been found to indicate anyone sponsored Kovalyov’s and Konovalov’s actions. According to the official, the charged offenders acted on their own. Their criminal record dates back to 2000. Their crimes have resulted in 15 deaths and hundreds of broken lives, with material losses in excess of over Br2 billion.

Death sentence is the utmost punishment for terrorism in Belarus.

Andrei Shved dispelled rumors that the Belarusian terrorists had been in any way connected with Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik.

BelTA reported earlier that the explosion in Minsk’s metro rocked the Oktyabrskaya station at 17:58 on 11 April 2011. The terrorist attack killed 11 people on the spot while 4 died in hospitals.

Charges specified by article 289 “Terrorism” of the Criminal Code of Belarus have been filed against Kovalyov and Konovalov, born in 1986, residents of Vitebsk. One of them is accused of illegal handling of firearms, ammunition and explosives. In addition, one of them is accused of arranging explosions in Vitebsk on 14 and 22 September 2005 and in Minsk on the night of 3-4 July 2008


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