On January 16, journalists could not attend the court session on the case of the former governor of the Kirov region, Nikita Belykh; it was held in the detention center "Matrosskaya Tishina" because of the poor state of Belykh’s health.
Journalists of five media — «7x7», "Mediazona", "Echo of Moscow", "Novaya Gazeta" and BBC — came to "Matrosskaya Tishina" by 10:00. Each of them had editorial assignments and applications addressed to the head of the remand prison on admission to the meeting. But officer refused to register applications on the checkpoint.
By 11:00, lawyer Belykh Andrey Grokhotov, witness in the case, and prosecutor arrived. Then judge Tatyana Vasyuchenko arrived accompanied by two bailiffs who brought boxes with case materials. The process began around 11:20.
The meeting ended at 14:00, but the authorities joined the territory inspection right after that, therefore correspondents left the detention center.
According to the law on the Russian judicial system, meetings should be open to the public. They can be closed in some cases: if the information that constitutes a state or other secret protected by law is disclosed at the court, if the crime is committed against the child, if the crime was committed by a minor, if the participants in the process need safety, if the crime was committed against the person's sexual inviolability. Belykh’s case is not covered by any of these categories.
Nikita Belykh is accused of receiving bribes of 600 thousand euros from the former owners of the Novovyatsky Ski Complex and the Management Company "Leskhoz" Albert Laritsky and Yuri Zudheimer. According to the investigation, the ex-governor demanded money from businessmen for patronage and faster coordination of investment projects for the development of forests in the Kirov region. Belykh denies blame.
The state of his health worsens. He is diagnosed with diabetes, brain encephalopathy, locomotor system diseases and cataract. Belykh was hospitalized twice during the arrest.
Vladimir Prokushev, Katerina Klepikovskaya, «7x7»