The Russian state media has reported that former Governor and Opposition Leader, Nikita Belykh, was sentenced to eight years imprisonment on Friday for accepting bribes of 750,000 dollars. The time he has already spent in custody will count towards his prison term, .
Belykh, who headed the central Kirov region for seven years until he was detained at a Moscow restaurant in 2016, was accused of offering protection for investment projects in exchange for bribes.
Belykh has denied wrongdoing and condemned the charges as trumped up.
Before becoming governor, Belykh headed the Union of Right Forces political party, previously led by prominent opposition politician Boris Nemtsov.
Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister, was shot dead outside the Kremlin in 2015.
His murder, blamed on Chechen hitmen, sent shock waves throughout the country’s fragmented political opposition.