MINSK -- Three murder suspects have been released in Belarus after President Alyaksandr Lukashenka intervened in their cases, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.
The three men are alleged to have killed a man on New Year's Eve in the village of Pukhavichi.
They were arrested on January 4 and reportedly admitted killing the man because he had set fire to properties in the village.
Lukashenka made a statement on national television regarding the case last week, saying that the dead man was a former criminal who had terrorized the village.
In a dramatic statement, Lukashenka added that the three men were simply protecting local people.
Villagers had mixed reactions regarding the decision to release the men.
Some told RFE/RL's Belarus Service that they were happy the suspects were released, while others said nobody knows for sure who set fire to the locals' property and that it's possible an innocent man was killed.