Former Minsk regional prosecutor sentenced to seven years in prison

A panel of the Supreme Court of Belarus on May 7 sentenced former Minsk Regional Prosecutor Mikhail Snyahir to seven years in a medium-security correctional institution, BelaPAN reports.

In his closed-door trial that began as far back as August 10, 2009, Mr. Snyahir was found guilty of bribery, power abuse and illegal possession of arms and ammunition. The panel ruled that the property of the former prosecutor should be confiscated.

Mr. Snyahir was arrested on December 12, 2008, a month after Alyaksandr Lukashenka accused him of corrupt practices in a televised speech. At a government conference held on November 13, Mr. Lukashenka accused a number of high-ranking officials, including Mr. Snyahir, of involvement in corrupt practices.

The Belarusian leader said that Mr. Snyahir was completing the construction of a villa, worth at least $1 million, in the Krynichny dacha compound some 10 miles from Minsk, and had purchased a five-room apartment in Minsk, valued at more than $500,000, from a company for just 156 million rubels (roughly $72,000).

Mr. Snyahir and Deputy Prosecutor General Mikalay Kupryyanaw, who allegedly kept covering for “his friend” Snyahir, were dismissed from prosecutorial service a few days later.

Mr. Snyahir was appointed prosecutor of the Minsk region on February 26, 2008.