MOSCOW, July 6. /TASS/. The Belarusian Supreme Court has sentenced ex-CEO of Belgazprombank and former presidential candidate Viktor Babariko to 14 years in prison.
"Viktor Babariko has been sentenced to 14 years behind bars at a high-security penal colony," the BelTA news agency informed, citing judge Igor Lyubovetsky. The court stated that Babariko would be fined to the tune of over $57,000.
Babariko was accused of accepting a major bribe organized by a group and money laundering. The prosecution asked for 15 years in prison. The ruling was issued by the Supreme Court, so it cannot be appealed. However, it can be done as part of a supervision procedure, which his attorney intends to hold.
Other suspects in the Belgazprombank case have been sentenced to three to six-and-a-half years behind bars.
On June 11, 2020, the Belarusian State Control Committee announced searches at Belgazprombank. The committee’s Department of Financial Investigations opened a criminal case under Article 243.2 (significant tax evasion) and 235.2 (large-scale money laundering). The authorities said that 30 people, including Babariko and his son Eduard, had been detained in the case.
In February, the Belarusian Supreme Court started the hearings of the case against the former top managers of Belgazprombank, charged with bribery and money laundering. There were eight defendants in the case, including Babariko. The remaining seven defendants pled guilty.
Babariko, who sought to participate in the 2020 presidential election in Belarus but was not registered as a presidential candidate, believes that the case is politically motivated.