Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Belarusian opposition leader and former presidential candidate, has been sentenced to 15 years behind bars in her home country, TASS reports.
The verdict concluded the opposition Coordination Council case. Another defendant, ex-diplomat Pavel Latushko, was slapped with 18 years in high-security prison. Both Tsikhanouskaya and Latushko were tried in absentia.
The state prosecution demanded 19 years of imprisonment for Tsikhanouskaya and Latushko.
The ex-presidential race candidate was charged with 10 articles of the Belarusian criminal code. She was found guilty of “conspiring to seize state power in an unconstitutional way” as well as “public calls to seize state power and commit other actions aimed at compromising the national security of Belarus”.
Latushko was indicted on seven counts.
The politicians were tried in absentia, a “special procedure” was applied. No details have been disclosed.
In July 2022, Aliaksandr Lukashenka signed a law to introduce the special trial procedure in Belarus. It allowed courts to try people in absentia.