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Belarusian Court Sentences 11 For Drug Trafficking

MINSK, Belarus -- A Belarusian court has sentenced 11 people, including one woman, to between nine and 19 years in prison for drug-related crimes.

The Minsk Regional Court on March 4 found the defendants guilty of illegal drug trafficking, taking part in an organized criminal group's activities, and unintentional manslaughter.

Investigators say the group was operating in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine. The group's alleged leader remains at large.

The verdicts and sentences were handed four days after a court in Minsk had started hearings into a similar case against 17 defendants, including two former officers from the Belarusian KGB and two women.

With reporting by Belapan