The court of the Zavodskoy district of Minsk announced the verdict of four political prisoners, who were accused in the case of “hacking the computer network of the Minsk City Executive Committee.” Brothers Kim and Alexei Samusenko were sentenced to 6,5 and 4 years’ imprisonment in a penal colony. Pavel Drozd and Ivan Andrushoits were sentenced to 3,5 years in prison, human rights activists report.
The young men were charged under six articles of the Criminal Code: “Destruction, blocking or modification of computer information” (Article 350, part 1), “Unlawful seizure of computer information” (Article 352), “Use of malicious programs” (Article 354), “Organization and preparation of actions grossly violating public order” (Article 342), “Desecration of structures and damage to property” (Article 341), “Preparation for participation in mass riots” (Article 293).
The trial lasted two months and was held behind closed doors – according to Judge Zhanna Khvoynitskaya, the case materials contained state secrets. Political prisoners have been in custody for almost 18 months.
According to the prosecution, at night in October 2020, political prisoners with the help of malware carried out unauthorized access to information stored in the computer network of the Minsk City Executive Committee. As a result of these actions, the defendants received recordings from security cameras installed in Minsk, including in the Minsk City Executive Committee’s police department. It is reported that they also deleted files of various formats, and in some of them they entered false information. Political prisoners were also accused of participating in protest marches in Minsk in 2020.