Orthodox priest, sentenced to 16 years of imprisonment
Date of birth: 4 July 1968
Date of detention: 1 December 2020
Art. 295 of the Criminal Code — Unlawful acts against firearms, ammunition and explosives
Part 2 of Art. 285 of the Criminal Code — Participation in a criminal organization in any other form
Part 1 of Art. 14 and Part 2 of Art. 357 of the Criminal Code — Attempted conspiracy to seize state power by unconstitutional means
Sentence: 16 years
Penalty: imprisonment in a medium-security penal colony
Judge: Maksim Filatau
Prosecutor: Liudmila Herasimenka, Uladzimir Rabau
Prison: Prison No. 1
Siarhei Rezanovich is an Orthodox priest and a defendant in a high-profile Autukhovich case.
Rezanovich is abbot of the Church of St. Michael the Archangel in the town of Sciapanka, Žabinka district. He was detained together with his wife Liubou and son Pavel.
In February 2021, the KGB put the political prisoner on the list of persons involved in terrorist activities.
On October 17, 2022, Siarhei Rezanovich was sentenced to 16 years of imprisonment in a general-security penal colony and a fine of 19,200 Belarusian rubles ($7,600). He was convicted under three articles of the Criminal Code:
- ‘Taking part in a criminal organization’ (Part 2 of Article 285),
- ‘Attempted seizure of state power by unconstitutional means’ (Part 1 of Article 14 and Part 2 of Article 357), and
- ‘Illegal actions in relation to objects which action is based on use of combustible substances conducted by a group of persons’ (Part 1 of Article 13 and Article 295-3).
The defendants in the case were political activist Mikalai Autukhovich, priest Siarhei Rezanovich, his wife Liubou Rezanovich, their son Pavel Rezanovich, pensioner Halina Dzerbysh, activist Uladzimir Hundar, activist Volha Mayorava, pensioner Iryna Melkher and her son Anton Melkher, and Iryna Harachkina, Viktar Snehur and Pavel Sava. They have been held behind bars for 22 months. Only two of them fully admitted their guilt. All of them were detained in December–January 2020. The authorities immediately declared Autukhovich the organizer and leader of a “terrorist group” that operated in the Hrodna region and allegedly set police officers’ cars and houses on fire.
The trial lasted five months. The verdict was pronounced on October 17, 2022, in the Hrodna Regional Court. Judge Maksim Filatau imposed jail terms ranging from two and a half to 25 years. Deputy chair of the prosecutor's office Liudmila Herasimenka and senior assistant prosecutor Rabau represented the state prosecution at the trial. The people's assessors were Stavorka, Zhdanovich, and Nichypor.
On October 17, 2022, the Hrodna Regional Court pronounced the verdicts on the high-profile Autukhovich case. The trial lasted five months. Judge Maksim Filatau imposed jail terms ranging from two and a half to 25 years.