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Belarus Jewish leader convicted of tax evasion, sentenced to time served

JTA

March 29, 2013 | 8:12 am

Yuri Dorn, a Jewish community leader in Belarus, was convicted for tax evasion but set free after a year in jail.

Dorn, president of the Union of Religious Jewish Congregations in Belarus, was arrested in March 2012 on allegations that he had mismanaged the community’s property for personal gain. Police also said Dorn had been caught accepting a $13,000 bribe in a sting operation. Prosecutors had accused Dorn of renting out space belonging to the Jewish community without permission,

Earlier this week, Dorn pleaded guilty to tax evasion but denied charges that he abused his position or rented out space without permission. The latter charges were dismissed by the judge at the Central District Court of Minsk on Friday. The judge convicted Dorn of evading taxes but said the year Dorn spent in prison was his penance for the offense, according to the Interfax news agency.

In an interview after his release for Liberty Radio, Dorn said he would resign from his position as president of the Union of Religious Jewish Congregations. He was placed under house arrest until the sentence goes into effect, Intefax reported. Dorn does not intend to appeal the verdict, according to the news agency.

On March 21, prosecutor Tatiana Rak asked the court to hand down a five-year sentence to be served in a medium-security facility.

Last month, prosecutors in Minsk dropped bribery charges that were included initially in their indictment.

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