Former presidential hopeful goes on trial in Belarus

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A trial has begun in Belarus for a bank executive who had aspired to challenge authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko in last year’s election but was blocked from running due to criminal charges that he rejected as political. Viktor Babariko, the former head of Russia-owned Belgazprombank, has been jailed since June on corruption and money-laundering charges. He dismissed the accusations, saying they were intended to prevent him from running against Lukashenko. Official results from the Aug. 9 presidential election gave Lukashenko a sixth term by a landslide, triggering massive protests. The main opposition candidate, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, and her supporters have dismissed the result as rigged.