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Belarusian Businessman Once Close To President Charged With Tax Evasion

MINSK -- Belarusian businessman Yury Chyzh has been charged with large-scale tax evasion.

Belarusian KGB spokesman, Dzmitry Pabyarzhyn, said on March 21 that Chyzh will remain in KGB custody while investigations into his case are under way.

Chyzh was detained on March 11.

He had been a close adviser to Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka since the 1990s but had reportedly fallen out of favor in recent months.

If convicted, Chyzh faces up to seven years in prison.

In 2012, Chyzh, the owner of the Belarusian firm Triple, was included on a list of European Union sanctions imposed on Belarusian individuals and companies in response to the country's human rights violations.

The EU ended five years of sanctions against Belarus and Lukashenka in February, citing improving human rights.

With reporting by Belapan
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