Investigators detain Russian governor of Kirov for taking 400,000 Euro bribe

Governor of Kirov, Nikita Belykh, was accused of bribery. Photograph:( Getty )

Reuters Moscow Jun 24, 2016, 05.07 PM (IST)
Russian investigators detained the governor of the Kirov region on Friday, saying they had caught him accepting a bribe in a Moscow restaurant.

The governor, Nikita Belykh, has been critical of the Kremlin and was formerly leader of a party, the Union of Rightist Forces.

A spokesman for the Investigative Committee said in a statement Belykh was accused of taking a bribe of 400,000 Euros ($444,240) and that a criminal case had been opened.

Vladimir Markin, the spokesman, denied there was any political subtext to Belykh's detention.

Investigators published a photograph on their website of Belykh sitting at a table on which piles of green 100-Euro notes were laid out.

Russian news agencies reported that Belykh was taken by investigators for questioning. Belykh's press service was not immediately available for comment.

Three months from a parliamentary election and with an economic crisis raging, Kremlin critics say, Russian officials are keen to keep opponents in check.