KIROV, January, 30 - RAPSI. Kirov Governor Nikita Belykh was questioned as a witness in a fraud case on Wednesday, RIA Novosti reports. The regional law enforcement authorities asked him to give testimony regarding fraudulent dealings with the property of a local distillery.

Belykh left the Regional Economic Crimes Department at around 14:00 (GMT +3). "Everything is fine," he told reporters waiting outside before driving away.

Investigators earlier searched the governor's office under a fraud case initiated after the privatization of 25.5% of the Urzhum Spirits and Vodka Plant.

According to the investigators, the shares may have been severely underpriced at the auction, with a starting price of 95.37 million rubles, although their market value was nearly double that price. Konstantin Arzamastsev, the former head of the Kirov Regional State Property Management Department, was declared wanted on Tuesday.

Other regional officials are being investigated in the case. Opposition activist Alexei Navalny, a former aide to the governor, is also being investigated.