Minsk 'bombers' to learn fate soon

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The Independent Online

Alexander Lukashenko said yesterday he will decide "soon" whether or not to commute the death sentences given to two 25-year-old men by a Minsk court this week, for bombing the city's subway system in April.

The Belarusian leader said he "could not complain" about the court's decision, but would now consider whether he should exercise his presidential right to grant clemency.

After a trial almost entirely based on confessions that rights activists fear may have been extracted using torture, Dmitry Konovalov and Vladislav Kovalyov were sentenced to death on Wednesday. Konovalov did not speak once during the whole trial, while Kovalyov recanted his confession, saying he had been pressured into signing.