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Belarus drops bribery charges against Jewish leader

(JTA) — Prosecutors in Minsk dropped key charges from their indictment against Yuri Dorn, a leader of the Jewish community of Belarus. 

Dorn, who was president of the Union of Religious Jewish Congregations in Belarus at the time of his arrest last year, is no longer charged with bribery, a prosecutor in the case told the Central District Court of Minsk, according to the Belarus paper Nasha Niva.

Dorn will now stand trial on one criminal offense — abuse of power or authority connected with allegations that he rented out communal space without permission. The penalty, according to Niva, is up to three years in prison but could be as minor as a fine.

His indictment had included bribery and forgery charges, but it was revised on Feb. 28, the newspaper reported. Along with bribery, several other charges were dropped.

Dorn has denied all the allegations made against him, including those listed in the revised indictment.

Dorn 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.

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