Opposition politician Syarhey Skrabets has been sentenced to jail (file photo) (RFE/RL)
14 February 2006 -- The Belarus Supreme Court has sentenced opposition figure Syarhey Skrabets to 2 1/2 years in jail for misusing a state credit.
The court handed down the verdict today in Minsk.
Skrabets, a former member of parliament, was arrested in May 2005. He intended to challenge President Alyaksandr Lukashenka in next month's presidential election, but withdrew from the race.
Human rights groups have said the charges against Skrabets are political in nature.
Several opposition leaders have been jailed ahead of the election, which Lukashenka is widely expected to win. Lukashenka has said he will not tolerate a Georgian- or Ukrainian-style popular revolution.