Nikita Belykh, convicted ex-governor, marries witness

Nikita Belykh, convicted ex-governor, marries witness
Nikita Belykh

He married Ekaterina Reifert.

Nikita Belykh, ex-governor of the Kirov region accused of bribery, has married Ekaterina Reifert, said his lawyer Andrei Grokhotov, according to Interfax.

"My client got married to his fiancée today. Congratulations, " said Grokhotov.

Nikita Belykh is charged under part 6 of Art. 290 of the Criminal Code (Bribe-taking on an especially large scale). According to the investigation, Belykh accepted his first bribe, 200.000 euros, between 2011 and 2012 from entrepreneur Albert Laritsky, who at that time owned Novovyatsky Ski Factory and Kirovles Forest Management Company.

Belykh allegedly asked for the money after he had helped said companies to get included in the list of priority investment projects, which secured forest plot leasing on preferential terms. Belykh also guaranteed general protection for Laritsky. Juri Sudheimer became the owner of the companies reorganized into JSC Novovyatsky Ski Factory and OOO Forest Management Company in 2013. According to the investigators, there was a risk that the Kirov region authorities would terminate the forest lease agreements with the companies. Belykh promised Sudheimer that the companies would be able to operate as before, demanding a bribe of 400.000 euros in return. It was when Belykh was being given the first half of the money that he was detained.

The ex-governor pleaded not guilty. Belykh has been in custody since the detention.

Belykh said he had been given permission from the investigator to get married to Ekaterina Reifert in July, but the document got lost in the pre-trial detention center. A copy of the permit sent to Reifert disappeared, too.

Later, Reifert was given the witness status in Russia v. Belykh, and therefore she was forbidden to get into the jail before testifying in court, even if it was for solemnization of a marriage.

At the October court hearing, after Reifert gave her testimony, Belykh asked her to marry him. She said yes, according to Meduza.

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