Updated at 17:11,20-07-2018

Fashion designer Varlamaw unlikely to appeal sentence

By Vyachaslaw Budkevich, BelaPAN

Prominent fashion designer Alyaksandr (Sasha) Varlamaw said that he was unlikely to appeal his "restricted freedom" sentence.

A judge of the Leninski District Court on Minsk on Tuesday sentenced the 58-year-old man to a five-year "restricted freedom" term but ruled that he should not be sent to a correctional institution and may live at home while serving the sentence.

Speaking to reporters minutes after his release in the courtroom, a frail-looking Mr. Varlamaw said that he had no strength to endure another legal battle. "I need to recover physically," he said. "I need to learn to walk again in the first place, learn to care for myself as spending 26 months in a cell where you only get up to go to the toilet or for a walk is a tough ordeal. I need to learn to be free."

Mr. Varlamaw said that he was proud of his work and expressed gratitude to all well-wishers who had supported him throughout his detention.

Asked whether he could return as the organizer of the Mlyn Mody (Fashion Mill) fashion festival, Mr. Varlamaw said that it was highly unlikely.

The man added that he was very unwell following four spinal operations.

Speaking about the criminal case against him, he said tersely, "I have been put in my place."

Mr. Varlamaw was found guilty on a variety of corruption charges connected with his activity as the director of a fashion and modeling agency and the organizer of Mlyn Mody.

Held in custody since May 20, 2011, Mr. Varlamaw went on trial this past February.