Today (17 March), Foreign Minister Westerwelle issued the following statement on the carrying out of the death sentence against Vladislav Kovalyov:
“I condemn the execution of Vladislav Kovalyov and deeply regret that President Lukashenko has ignored all international appeals that the death sentence not be carried out.
I call upon the Belarusian leadership to stay the execution of the other man convicted, Dmitry Konovalov.”
In his letter of 6 February to Belarusian President Lukashenko, Foreign Minister Westerwelle had called for the death sentences against Dmitry Konovalov and Vladislav Kovalyov not to be executed.
Dmitry Konovalov and Vladislav Kovalyov were convicted of carrying out the Minsk metro bombing on 11 April 2011 and sentenced to death on 30 November 2011.
Considerable doubts have been raised as to whether they were accorded due process. The confessions are said to have been obtained using torture. Kovalyov had retracted his confession and denied that he was guilty.