MOSCOW, March 26 (RAPSI) – The former Governor of the Penza Region Ivan Belozertsev has challenged his detention in a bribery case, according to the press service of Moscow’s Basmanny District Court.

Belozersev was placed in detention on March 22. Following that, President Vladimir Putin relieved him of the post of Governor due to the loss of trust.

Other defendants in the case are head of BIOTEC Group of Companies Boris Spiegel, his wife Eugenia Spiegel, Director of Pharmacia Company Anton Koloskov and two other men Gennady Markov and Fedor Fedotov. Depending on their alleged role in the crime they have been charged with mediation in bribery, bribegiving and acceptance of a bribe. They are also in detention.

According to the investigation, between January and September 2020, Belozertsev accepted through intermedia money and other values worth over 31 million rubles (over $400,000) in bribes from Spiegel, his spouse and Koloskov. In turn, the official allegedly promised to give BIOTEC Group of Companies the competitive gain in execution of state contracts for acceptance, quality and validity period tracking, storing and supplies of medical drugs and goods for the needs of health care institutions of the Penza Region.