KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Belarus’s highest court on Wednesday opened a trial of a bank executive who had aspired to challenge the country’s authoritarian president in last year’s vote but was blocked from running due to criminal charges that he rejected as political.
Viktor Babariko, the former head of Russia-owned Belgazprombank, has been jailed since June on corruption and money laundering charges. He has dismissed the accusations, saying they were intended to prevent him from running against President Alexander Lukashenko.
The 57-year-old Babariko could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
In a statement released before the trial opened, Babariko denounced …read more