The trial of prominent Belarusian fashion designer Alyaksandr Varlamau has started in Minsk.
Varlamau is the director of Sasha Varlamau Fashion School and former head of the Fashion Mill festival, the central event in Belarus in the realm of design and fashion.
Varlamau has been held in custody since his arrest in May 2011.
He was charged with large-scale fraud, large-scale embezzlement, appropriation of property, tax evasion, and abuse of office.
Investigators say the damage caused by his actions exceeded 1.2 billion Belarusian rubles ($133,000).
During the opening hearing, the Lenin district court rejected a demand that Varlamau, who claims he is suffering from a deteriorating spinal condition, be released on his own recognizance.
He was also refused permission to receive magnetic-resonance therapy.
Based on reporting by Belapan and RFE/RL's Belarus Service