Alexander Lukashenko has decided not to pardon Vladislav Kovalev and Dmitry Konovalov.
Head of State wasn't stopped by the outrage of human rights defenders and civil society representatives. He wasn't made to think by IISEPS data, according to which 43.4% of Belarusians consider Vitebsk residents innocent. Even the negative attitude to "the terrorists" case by the West didn't push the president to postpone the decision and try to "play this card" in the future. What is the cause of such a radical position Lukashenko?
Ex-chairman of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus, Lieutenant-General Mechislav Grip and the former KGB lieutenant colonel Valery Kostka have tried to answer this question in an interview with UDF.BY.
Experts believe, the haste and voluntarism of Lukashenka is a juridical and political mistake that could lead to a further decline of his prestige.
"The investigation did not answer all the questions, and there is a public distrust to its results", Kostka says. "The legal side is so weak, that the authorities themselves are substituted, and cast doubt on the validity of the sentence. I do not know what are Lukashenko's motives while taking such a decision. Today is the day of the Constitution, and the president must be a guarantor of it. But he shows a contempt for the Constitution".
"I don't think it's worth talking about some groups of influence, which can be downed with the penalty of Kovalev and Konovalov", Grib thinks. "Lukashenko, obviously, made the decision himself. Society understands it".
According to experts, amid a diplomatic war with the EU and constant projects of new sanctions, non-use of a pardon with regard to convicted persons can only aggravate the conflict:
"I consider this decision as a signal to Europe: "We are steadfast, we are strong. We don't need your advices". When the whole world, all of Europe today condemned the death penalty, Belarus is increasingly becoming an outcast, applying it", Grib says.
Mechislav Grib, who used to head the investigation of the infamous "Vitebsk case", says: "To apply the death penalty to the convicted is not right. First of all, miscarriages of justice are possible, which then can not be fixed. Second, not the state gives life to man and not the state decides to live or not. Besides, life-term sentence also is not honey".
Experts do not see some coherent arguments to deny clemency for Kovalev and Konovalov in such a hurry.
"I do not know what happened with the president", Mechislav Grib is puzzled.