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Belarusian in Reuters shooting may face life in prison

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The Belarusian man who last night was involved in the shooting incident at the Thompson Reuters office in Gdynia may face life in prison, the press officer at Gdynia Regional Prosecutor's Office told Euroradio. Stsiapan Svidzerski, treated as a suspect by investigators, may face from 8 to 25 years in prison or even life in prison under the article in the Criminal Code that deals with attempted murder. The Prosecutor's Office says the suspect can be indicted in the first half of Thursday. He is being held in detention. Polish authorities are trying to identify if Svidzerski might also have a Polish passport. They are also checking his gun licence.

Euroradio reported earlier, the 30-year-old Belarus national was detained at the Thomson Reuters office in Gdynia where he was employed. One of the versions suggests that the man walked into the building carrying weapons. Another employee noticed him and attacked. During the fight, two shots were allegedly fired but nobody was injured. Stsiapan Svidzerski is a professional shooting sportsman, has licenses to carry a pistol and a rifle. He might have come to the office after a shooting training session. However, more details of the incident are yet to follow from the prosecutors.

The Belarusian was expelled from Belarus State University after the post-election protests in the spring of 2006. He studied at a university in Poland afterwards and obtained a degree in history owing to a scholarship from Kalinowski Program.