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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Belarus Court Cuts Soros Fine

MINSK, Belarus -- A Belarussian court has drastically reduced a fine levied against the Soros Foundation, cutting it to $28,000 from $3 million, a foundation spokesman said Tuesday.

Sergei Levshunov, the foundation's representative in Belarus, said the Belarus Arbitration Court ruled against tax officials and revised the fine levied for alleged failure to pay value-added taxes, profit taxes and income tax on some grants.

The court also ruled that the foundation's property, worth less than the fine, should be confiscated. It did not say how much the property was worth.

The Soros Foundation shut down its office in the former Soviet republic in September after the original fine was levied. Tax inspectors audited the Belarus branch last March, when the government accused its U.S. director, Peter Byrne, of backing the nationalist opposition and expelled him from Belarus.

Before the foundation closed its office, Soros officials said the organization had spent $13 million on various projects since 1994 in Belarus.