BREST, Belarus -- A Belarusian man who was shot dead by an army officer at a protest rally in August last year has been posthumously found guilty by a court of disobeying a police order.
Brest regional court Judge Svyatlana Kramyaneuskaya handed down the ruling on February 25, adding that she would not sentence Henadz Shutau because he was dead.
She also found a co-defendant guilty of resisting law enforcement and the attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, sentencing Alyaksandr Kardzyukou to 10 years in prison.
Kardzyukou pleaded not guilty. He and Shutau's daughter Anastasia, who represented her deceased father, said they will appeal the ruling.
The officer who shot Shutau dead, Raman Haurylau, and another officer, Arseniy Halitsyn, were plaintiffs at the trial.
The army officers took part in the brutal dispersal of demonstrators on August 11 in Brest after the commander of the army's Special Operations Forces, Major General Vadzim Dzenisenka, ordered his troops to assist police and security forces.
Crisis In Belarus
Read our ongoing coverage as Belarusian strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka continues his brutal crackdown on NGOs, activists, and independent media following the August 2020 presidential election, widely seen as fraudulent.
Shutau was killed at a protest against the results of a presidential election on August 9 that incumbent Alyaksandr Lukashenka claimed to have won in a landslide.
Opposition figures and many Belarusians immediately challenged the results, saying the vote was rigged.
Several protesters have been killed and thousands of people arrested during the ongoing demonstrations across Belarus.
There have also been credible reports of torture during a widening security crackdown.
Most of the country's opposition leaders have been arrested or forced to leave the country, including opposition leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who says she won the presidential poll.
The United States, the European Union, and several other countries have refused to acknowledge the election results and Lukashenka as the country's leader.