Killer to Be Executed for Beheading 8-Month-Old Baby Girl
Viktar Syarhel loses court appeal against the death sentence for brutal murder in Belarus
A killer has lost his appeal against the death sentence for the brutal murder and beheading of an 8-month-old baby girl in Belarus.
The Supreme Court ruled that 48-year-old Viktar Syarhel will face the death penalty and will be put down with a gunshot to the back of the head for decapitating baby Hanna.
Following the ruling in a Belarus court, Syarhel immediately indicated that he will waive his right to seek clemency from strongman President Alexander Lukashenko.
This means the murderer will now be executed by a Belarus state executioner for the cruel murder of the innocent child.
Baby Hanna's mother, 26-year-old Nataliya Kolb, also lost her appeal against a maximum jail sentence for the same killing.
Kolb now faces 25 years in prison for the violent crime.
By law, only men can face capital punishment in Belarus, the only state in Europe which still imposes the death penalty for serious crimes, according to the Daily Mail.
Footage shows the moment Syarhel nods his head in the negative after a judge said: "You have the right to submit a plea for mercy to the president."
This was taken to mean he will not seek clemency from President Lukashenko.
Earlier Syarhel declined to appeal his death sentence but his legal team took it to the country's supreme court anyway.
Syarhel and Klob, a family friend, were drinking in the flat when they killed the defenseless child.
Her husband Leonid, 28, came home with the couple's other children, aged four and six, and saw his daughter's severed head and a pool of blood.
A neighbor said: "He saw a scene out of the horror movies.
"The ambulance doctor fainted when she came in."
The child had 46 separate injured on her body and was killed with a kitchen knife.
The baby had been badly beaten before being killed and the murder was with "particular cruelty," the closed-door session of Brest Regional Court ruled.
Those facing the death penalty are blindfolded and forced to kneel.
They are then shot in the back of the head.
The method is similar to that used in Stalin times in the USSR.
More than 400 men have been executed in Belarus since the country became independent with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Lukashenko has only spared one man during his more than a quarter of a century in power.
The EU and various international organizations have urged Belarus to stop using the death penalty.
Lukashenko said last year he would continue to approve death penalty cases because people had voted for capital punishment in a referendum.
"Do you think I am happy about this death penalty, considering that I sign it, and then, put crudely, someone is shot?" he said.
But it was his duty.
Legislators in the country are reviewing whether to recommending ending the death penalty.