October 25, 2013 21:48
EU welcomes decision of Belarusian Supreme Court to annul death sentence to suspected murderer
MINSK. Oct 25 (Interfax) - The European Union Delegation in Belarus said it welcomed the decision of the Belarusian Supreme Court to cancel the death sentence for Alexander Grunov.
"The EU Delegation welcomes the decision of the Supreme Court to annul a death penalty sentence," the delegation said in a statement obtained by Interfax on Friday. "It is the first time that such a decision has been taken in the recent history of Belarus," the document said.
In this context, the EU Delegation urges the Belarusian authorities "to join the global moratorium on the death penalty as a first step towards its universal abolition," the statement said.
Interfax has reported that this week the Belarusian Supreme Court annulled the death sentence of the Gomel regional court to Grunov, who was found guilty of brutally murdering a female student. "The criminal case has been sent for a new trial to the Gomel regional court," the Supreme Court said. The trial will be held with a new bench.
Grunov's lawyer Sergei Krasnov said at the Supreme Court hearing where the cassation appeal was considered that his client did not have the benefit of the doubt, that the principle of equal defense and competition of the trial were violated and that contradictions related to the psychological and psychiatric evaluation of his client existed.
A 22-year-old student was brutally murdered in Gomel on September 20, 2012 - the young woman sustained over 100 stab wounds. Local resident Alexander Grunov, 24, with previous convictions has been detained.
On June 14, 2013, the Gomel regional court sentenced him to death. Grunov's defense appealed the verdict to the Supreme Court.
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