Information concerning possibility of Belykh’s arrest appeared two weeks ago
Society continue to actively discuss the detention of Nikita Belykh, governor of the Kirov Region, over the suspicion in taking bribe of 400 thousands euros. The arrest of the charismatic official has many doubtful circumstances. Belykh himself denies taking the bribe. Lawyers believe that the Investigative Committee violated the procedure of criminal prosecution of the elected person and thus it was illegal to place him into custody.
The criminal case against the Kirov Region governor Nikita Belykh was initiated under art. 290 para. 6 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation “taking bribe on a large scale”.
The governor, known for his statements against corruption, popular and respected among his subordinates and the Kirov Region’s citizens was detained red handed in Moscow restaurant at 21-st floor of Lotte Plaza – he was receiving 150 thousands euros. According to the data of informed sources close to the investigation, this sum was a third tranche of the bribe, which amounted 400 thousands euros.
By the Basman court’s decision Belykh was placed into custody on two months - till August 24.
The Belykh’s lawyers stated that the Investigative Committee violated the procedure of criminal prosecution of Belykh and that is why the criminal case can be considered illegal. As the official’s lawyer Vadim Prokhorov told Kommersant newspaper, the criminal case against elected persons should be initiated personally by head of the Kirov Region Administration of the Investigative Committee, what in this case did not happen. As the defense lawyer said, “the case against the governor of the region, who was elected by more than 400 thousands people, was initiated by a simple senior investigator”.
At the same time, the official representative of the Investigative Committee Vladimir Markin on air of the Vesti FM claimed that the criminal case against Belykh is lawful:
“The initiation of the criminal case by the investigator of the Investigation Committee is lawful. This really was the third part of the bribe, the last 150 thousands rubles euros he received during that meeting. The investigation is sure that it was a simple bribe”, - said Markin on air of Vesti FM radio station.
Meanwhile, in the Internet, society, - those who personally knew the official, as well as audience loyal to Belykh (the governor was popular among the Kirov Region’s citizens and his subordinates), - started to express doubts regarding the initiated case. The Kirov Region’s government did not really believe the official narrative of the investigation – Belykh has reputation of a man who always argued against corruption. As Kommersant reports, referring to informed sources, the rumors that “something bad is going to happen with Belykh”, appeared two weeks earlier – allegedly then, the office of Plenipotentiary of the President in the Volga Federal District Mikhail Babich received a command to start looking for candidate for the governor’s position. It is logical to assume that these rumors also reached Belykh himself. In this case, why was he so careless to come personally to the restaurant for the money at daytime? Belykh explained at he court that this money was “a sponsor’s help intended for needs of the region”.
The fact that Belykh received money from German citizen Yury Zudkhaymer, who is a co-owner of Lesokhozyastvennaya Upravlyayushchaya Companiya (Forestry Management Company) and Novovyatsky Lyzhny Kombinat (Novovyatsky Ski Industrial Center) and is connected to the case as a witness, also produced questions. At the time the Industrial Center is under control of Ruslan Tsukanov. Earlier, in April 2015, the Federal Security Service’s officers detained former owner of the Industrial Center Alberto Leritsky over accusation in fraud.
The Nikita Belykh’s environment believes that Yury Zudkhaymer contacted the law enforcement authorities himself, after what, on Friday, June 14, 2016, the investigative experiment with Belykh’s detention was conducted. Why would the company with such criminal past make a deal with the investigation – one more question, which appears after acquaintance with the story.
Earlier, media wrote about a narrative telling the detained governor had a conflict with servicemen or business-community’s representatives, which resulted in the criminal case over a multimillion bribe. The crime incriminated to him may lead to sentence of imprisonment for a period from 8 to 15 years.
Rosfinmonitoring (Federal Financial Monitoring Service) analyzed the data of the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers and discovered thousands of offshore companies through which the Russians laundered billions of rubles. Materials on deputies and governors were handed over to law enforcers.
A spokesperson of the Prosecutor's office said that the ECHR had not studied all the materials of the criminal case, so they were offered not to overturn the verdict, but to send the case for a new review in court.