Varlamau: I want to spend my life with family

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Today is the last but one day of Sasha Varlamau’s trial. There were about 20 people in the court room: relatives, journalists and a few ex-colleagues. The fashion designer made his last plea sitting due to backache.

“I am trying to endure it with my last strength. I want to hear a fair and humane sentence. I hope for a fair trial so that I can live the rest of my life with my family!” Sasha Varlamau said in the court room.

The hearing took six months. Varlamau has already spent two years in jail and there are over 500 volumes of case papers.

“I’m in prison and the Fashion Mill still exists. It would have disappeared if it had not been necessary because I have spent over 2 years in prison. You could have built so many youth centres with the money spent on this investigation!” the fashion designer said.

However, he was supported all the time, Sasha Varlamau said. Prison employees, relatives and friends and even other prisoners supported him.

“I feel support in prison. People are proud of this project. I have spent 2 years in prison but the project still exists.”

The last plea took only about 5 minutes. The court’s decision will be announced on July 23. Relatives were frozen with tears. It is necessary to bring medicines to the detention centre every day, Varlamau’s sister Larysa Muharskaya said:

“He feels very bad, only his strength of mind helps him. I can only hope for justice now.”

The fashion designer’s second sister, Ryma Shymchonak, was in the court room too. The two women attended every hearing in the last 6 months. The number of visitors decreased every time. Only a few people were in the court room during the last hearings.

Not many designers came to listen to his last plea. They are scared because they have been intimidated, Ryma Shymchonak thinks.

Varlamau is not guilty of anything he is charged with, his lawyer Pavel Pivavarchyk said.

“I think that my client should be acquitted. His guilt has not been proved. I hope for a verdict of not guilty. Varlamau is suffering from an intervertebral hernia. His back and arms ache, he finds it difficult to breathe,” Pavel Pivavarchyk noted.

People were acquitted after similar trials in the past, he recalled.

Sasha Varlamau is accused of major fraud, misappropriation, tax evasion, power abuse and major larceny. He has been jailed for over 2 years.

The court’s decision will be pronounced on July 23 at 11 a.m.