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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Minsk subway bombers sentenced to firing squad, no appeal

RIA Novosti

17:32 30/11/2011 MINSK, November 30 (RIA Novosti) - Two Belarusians convicted of carrying out a bomb attack in the Minsk subway, killing 15 people, were sentenced to death on Wednesday with no option for appeal.

Dmitry Konovalov and Vladislav Kovalyov were found guilty of detonating an explosive device at a subway station on April 11. The blast also injured more than 200 people.

The Supreme Court’s ruling is final and may not be appealed. Persons sentenced to death may only appeal to the president for pardon.

Supreme Court presiding judge Alexander Fedortsov said the perpetrator, Konovalov, had repeatedly committed acts of terrorism, purposely seeking to cause maximum damage.

Kovalyov, as an accomplice to the crime, had known about Konovalov’s practices for years, failing to report them to law enforcement agencies, while in the subway attack his complicity was “direct,” the court said.

Both defendants were mentally fit and fully aware of what they were about to do at the moment of committing the crime, the judge said.

Throughout his presidency Alexander Lukashenko has only once granted a pardon, commuting the death penalty to a 20-year prison sentence in 1996.

It has never been publicly announced who exactly was pardoned.

Konovalov and Kovalyov are to be executed by firing squad. The date of their execution has not yet been set.

Belarus remains the only European country that allows the death penalty. Last year, two people were sentenced to capital punishment and executed.

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