Moscow “keeps control” the situation with the Russian Egor Dudnikov, who was sentenced in Belarus to 11 years in prison. This was stated by the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Maria Zakharova, transfers RIA News”. According to her, if violations of his procedural rights are found, measures will be taken.
Zakharova said that the Russian plans to appeal the verdict to the Supreme Court of Belarus. She noted that since the actions of Dudnikov, in the opinion of the Belarusian security officials, were aimed at causing harm to the national security of the country, the trial was held behind closed doors.
On December 27, Dudnikov was sentenced to 11 years in a strict regime colony. The prosecutor requested a similar punishment for him. Dudnikov voiced videos for the opposition Telegram channel. Yegor’s relatives claim that he did not participate in the protests, but only read the texts. He is charged under part 3 of article 130 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus (“Inciting social hostility by a group of persons) and part 3 of article 361 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus (“ Calls to actions aimed at causing harm to national security, committed using the global computer network Internet ”). The maximum sentence under these articles is 12 years. Yegor’s lawyer Anton Gashinsky said that the defense intends to begin the extradition procedure.
Dudnikov was arrested in Minsk and placed in a KGB pre-trial detention center in May this year. He was accused of “organizing group actions that grossly violate public order and are associated with clear disobedience to the legitimate demands of the authorities, which entailed disruption of the work of transport and enterprises” (part 1 of article 342 of the Criminal Code). Under Belarusian law, Dudnikov could face up to four years in prison. But one more article was added.
“This is the same as putting a taxi driver in prison for giving a ride to an oppositionist. He is a purely technical worker, he was engaged in the voice acting of the videos that the opposition made after the August 2020 protests, ”Gashinsky said.
In July, the Belarusian state-run TV channel ONT showed a film containing footage of Dudnikov’s confession. It claims that Dudnikov was expelled from Belarus because of his participation in the 2020 protests, and then illegally returned to the country and became one of the administrators of the Telegram channel “Civil Self-Defense Units of Belarus” under the nickname “Evil Batts”.
The TV channel bases its film on data allegedly obtained by the KGB of Belarus together with the ONT reporters themselves. According to GosTV, Dudnikov was run by a certain “Dis”. The film claims that Dudnikov planned to create a similar telegram channel in Russia “in connection with the detention of Navalny.” Russian pro-government media then reported that the Russian “fully admitted his guilt.”