01:38 GMT02 December 2020
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    MINSK (Sputnik) - Charges were laid against the recently detained prospective Belarusian presidential candidate Viktar Babaryka within the Belgazprombank criminal case on tax evasion and money laundering, his lawyer Dmitry Layevskiy said on Saturday.

    "We visited Viktor Dmitrievich [Babaryka] today, we were summoned for legal proceedings, in fact he was charged. I am not allowed to specify the charges. I can say that Viktor Dmitrievich intends to principally defend his innocence, beliefs and honest name," the lawyer said.

    According to Layevskiy, the legal team has objected the arrest, but proceedings on this matter have not yet taken place.

    On Thursday, Babaryka, who led Belgazprombank for 20 years prior to starting a presidential campaign, his son Eduard and 20 other bank officials were questioned and detained by the Department of Financial Investigations of the Belarusian State Control Committee in a criminal case involving tax evasion and money laundering.

    Under Belarus' law, Babaryka will not be precluded from running a presidential campaign while jailed if he collects enough signatures to enrol as a candidate. The presidential vote is scheduled for 9 August.

    elections, criminal charges, Belarus
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