MINSK -- Two former officers from the Belarusian KGB have been put on trial in Minsk along with 15 other defendants on charges of being members of one of the country's largest distribution rings for illegal narcotics.
The Minsk City Court started hearings in the case on February 29.
Those charged include Dzmitry Veratsinski, who previously was a senior officer of the KGB's central headquarter in Minsk, and Ihar Karytski, who had been a KGB officer in the western Belarusian city of Brest.
They both are charged with covering up evidence about the group's illegal activities.
Kanstantsin Vilyuha, a defendent who also is known by the nickname "Kot" (Cat), is charged with organizing the criminal network.
A woman from Russia and another from Belarus also are among the defendants.
Investigators say the accused were part of a group that carried out a large-scale illegal drug trafficking and distribution operation across Belarus.