Belarus’ presidential hopeful gets 14-year prison sentence

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The highest court in Belarus has convicted an aspiring rival to the nation’s authoritarian president on corruption charges that he rejected as politically motivated. The Supreme Court convicted Viktor Babariko of taking a bribe and money laundering and sentenced him to 14 years in prison on Tuesday. Babariko is the chief executive of a Russia-owned bank. He had hoped to challenge Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko last year, but he was arrested before the country’s August 2020 presidential election and prohibited from registering as a candidate. At the time, Babariko was widely perceived as Lukashenko’s main rival. Lukashenko’s reelection to a sixth term was widely seen as rigged and triggered months of protests.