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Belarusian President's Ex-Security Chief Gets 12 Years In Prison For Bribery

MINSK -- The former chief of Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's security has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for bribe taking.

The Supreme Court of Belarus pronounced the verdict and sentencing of Andrey Utsyurin on July 27. The court also barred Utsyurin from working at administrative posts for five years and deprived him of the military rank of colonel.

The court also ruled to confiscate $192,000 from Utsyurin, which, according to the court, he had received as bribes.

Fourteen of 15 other defendants in the case, including former employees of state entities, financial institutions, and private businesses, received prison terms of between two and 7 1/2 years.

One defendant, a citizen of Latvia, was fined $14,600.

The group went on trial on March 10.

Utsyurin was arrested in April last year and charged with accepting at least $190,000 in bribes and instigation of bribe-giving during his handling of a state project on buying communication equipment, computers, and software.

Born in 1971 in the Russian city of Penza, Utsyurin led the presidential security unit from 2007-2014 before he was appointed a deputy secretary of the Security Council, the post he had until his arrest.

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