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Sapega’s lawyer says there was ‘little hope’ of her being pardoned

Sofia Sapega was detained in Minsk on May 23, 2021

MINSK, June 7. /TASS/. The attorney who represented Sofia Sapega, a Russian national pardoned by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, said that there was "little hope" of things turning out the way they did.

"There was little hope. Thank God it worked out," lawyer Anton Gashinsky told TASS.

According to him, Sapega has already left Belarus and is now on her way to reunite with her father in Russia. "Left [Belarus] already. She went to her father," Gashinsky noted.

Earlier, Primorsky Region Governor Oleg Kozhemyako reported that Sapega was pardoned by the President of Belarus after a meeting with a delegation from that Russian region.

Sapega was detained in Minsk on May 23, 2021, along with Roman Protasevich, a member of the Nexta organization, which has been designated as a terrorist organization in Belarus. The pair were charged, among other things, with organizing activities that violated public order and inciting social hatred. Sapega was accused of being the editor of the Black Book of Belarus channel (deemed as extremist in Belarus), which posts personal information about Belarusian internal affairs officers. In May of 2022, the Grodno Regional Court sentenced Sapega to six years in prison.

The Minsk Regional Court sentenced Roman Protasevich to eight years in prison on May 3. Later, President Alexander Lukashenko decreed to pardon him.