Belarus opposition leader says any trial for Lukashenko subject to negotiation
PRAGUE (Reuters) - Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya said Thursday that the possibility of immunity for Alexander Lukashenko, instead of facing an international trial, could be the subject of negotiations to defuse the crisis in her country.
The opposition has said it is considering filing a lawsuit against the veteran ruler with the International Criminal Court for criticizing the harsh treatment of protesters who took to the streets after saying he rigged his re-election in August.
When asked on Thursday whether she would like to see Lukashenko before the ICC, she said she could not personally forgive his "atrocities" but understood that this should be the subject of negotiations.
"If the way out is for him to go to the sea somewhere and spend his time there, that could be done," she told the Globsec Bratislava Forum in the Slovak capital.
"Just leave us and we will continue to build our country. And that's it," said Tsikhanouskaya, who fled to Lithuania shortly after the controversial vote.
Lukashenko, who denies election fraud, is battling two months of street protests, which is the greatest challenge to his 26-year rule. More than 13,000 people were arrested and some later released, while major opposition figures were detained or exiled.
The Belarusian government has denied the abuse of detainees.
The crisis has pushed Lukashenko back to the traditional ally Russia, who has supported Belarus with loans and an offer of military support. Both have accused the West of meddling in Belarus.
(Reporting by Jason Hovet; Editing by Alison Williams)
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