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Belarusian Opposition Activist Jailed For Seven Years

Andrey Bandarenka in June
Andrey Bandarenka in June
MINSK -- A Minsk court has found opposition activist Andrey Bandarenka guilty of theft and sentenced him to seven years in prison, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Bandarenka told RFE/RL after his verdict was announced that the charges against him are politically motivated and that he is going to appeal the verdict.

Bandarenka is a well-known businessman and an active member of the opposition United Civic Party (AHP).

Last year he participated in the parliamentary elections as a candidate but was not elected.

He was arrested on May 27 and accused of financial misdeeds.

Fellow AHP member Alyaksandr Dabravolsky told RFE/RL that the hearings were held without any witnesses or documents proving Bandarenka's guilt.