MOSCOW, June 26. /TASS/. The governor of Russia’s northeastern Kirov region, Nikita Belykh, who was arrested on Saturday on charges of accepting an especially big bribe, was taken from Moscow’s Basmanny district court to the Lefortovo detention center. He was escorted by operatives of the Federal Security Service (FSB), a source closely familiar with the situation told TASS.
"Nikita Belykh will stay in custody at the Lefortovo detention center," he said.
Basmanny court authorized custody for him through to August 24, thus answering a request from investigators. He was arrested in a Moscow restaurant in the evening of Friday, June 24.
On Saturday, the Investigations Committee issued charges with accepting an especially big bribe (Article 290, Part 6, Russian Criminal Code).
The Investigations Committee said Belykh received personally or through a proxy a bribe in the amount of €400,000 for the actions benefiting the bribe-giver and the companies OJSC Novovyatsky Ski Combine and Forestry Management Company Ltd. controlled by the bribe-giver, as well as for an overall patronage over investment projects and business operations in the Vyatka region.
Belykh’s detention is far from the first instance of prosecution targeting the highest elected government officials and mayors of large cities. Last year, the investigators instituted criminal cases for the Sakhalin region governor Alexander Khoroshavin and the Komi region governor, Vyacheslav Gaizer.
At the beginning of this month, the authorities opened a criminal case for the mayor of Vladivostok, Igor Pushkaryov.
All these men are kept in custody at the Lefortovo detention center.