Supreme Court confirms death penalty for Viktar Paulau
The Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence handed down to Viktar Paulau on July 30. The defendant was found guilty of a double murder committed in December 2018.
Paulau asked the Court to commute the sentence to life imprisonment. The appeal mentioned the convict’s full confession and cooperation with the investigation as valid grounds for reviewing the sentence.
The defense lawyers argued that the court hearings failed to fully meet the standards of a fair trial, which, in turn, may result in the violation of the defendant’s right to life. In particular, Paulau was only able to choose a lawyer after the sentencing.
The counsels also stressed that the case received considerable media coverage. It will definitely aggravate Belarus’s human rights record, the lawyers said.
This year’s third death sentence has been criticized by both domestic activists and foreign policy-makers, most notably the EU and the Council of Europe.