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June 19th, 2008. Posted in News from Belarus

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The trial of the policemen, charged with office abuse, opened in the Minsk District and City of Zaslawye Court on June 19.

The accused, Henadz Darahakupets and Alyaksey Likhtarovich, pleaded not guiltyVictims in car chase incident demand tough punishment for traffic policemen. The occupants of the vehicles damaged in March’s car chase incident said at Thursday’s hearing in a court in Minsk that the two traffic police officers who used the autos to capture a speeding driver “deserve tough punishment.” The incident occurred near Minsk on March 2. The police used four vehicles, with their occupants still inside, to block a road in order to catch a man who was driving over the legal drink-drive limit.

The chased car, which was said to be moving at a speed of between 160 and 180 kilometers per hour, never stopped and crashed into the vehicles, with a BMW in which a woman and a child were in the back seat hit worst, BelaPAN said.

The trial of the policemen, charged with office abuse, opened in the Minsk District and City of Zaslawye Court on June 19. There are six victims in the case.

Yury Pashkevich, who was behind the wheel of the BMW, said at the hearing that he had been ordered by the policemen to move from the fourth to the second lane and stop to “fill a gap” in the roadblock.

Mr. Pashkevich suggested that the policemen should be sentenced to prison.

His wife, Maryya, and Alena Kalpakova, who was driving another vehicle, did not demand a prison term for the accused but stressed that the pair should be punished over the incident.

All of the examined victims confirmed that two police vehicles, with their lights off, had been present at the scene during the incident.

The accused, Henadz Darahakupets and Alyaksey Likhtarovich, pleaded not guilty.

The state prosecutor in the trial said that the officers’ guilt had been proven in full, noting that the accused had overstepped their authority, endangered the lives and property of the victims and discredited the interior ministry.

Syarhey PULSHA

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Note: Translated by means of machine translation. The original text in Russian is on a site www.levonevsky.org or www.levonevski.net
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