Russia governor arrested over 'large bribe'

  • Published
Photo purportedly showing Kirov governor Nikita Belykh and piles of 100-euro notesImage source, Russian Investigative Committee
Image caption,
Russian investigators posted a picture purportedly showing Nikita Belykh with the proceeds of a bribe

Russian investigators have arrested a regional governor, saying they caught him red-handed taking a €400,000 (£325,000; $444,500) bribe.

Kirov region governor Nikita Belykh was held in a Moscow restaurant.

Investigators posted a picture which purports to show the governor of the central region at a table with cash from a bribe.

Mr Belykh has been a Kremlin critic, but the investigators say there is no political subtext to the case.

On Friday, the Russian investigative committee (SKR) published a photograph on its website, saying it showed Mr Belykh and piles of 100-euro notes laid out before him.

They say he is suspected of accepting the money, personally and through an intermediary, in return for protecting dodgy investment business in the region.

Mr Belykh, who once led the opposition Union of Right Forces, has made no public comment on the issue.

SKR spokesman Vladimir Markin pointed out that - "anticipating hysteria" from Mr Belykh's supporters - there was no political background to his arrest.

Mr Belykh becomes the third Russian governor to be arrested on suspicion of corruption in just over a year.