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Arrest warrant issued for only Russian Duma deputy to vote against annexing Crimea

Source: TASS

A court in Moscow has issued an international arrest warrant for Russian parliament member Ilya Ponomarev in connection with the alleged embezzlement of funds from the state-supported Skolkovo innovation center. He is currently on a Russian wanted list.

According to news agency Interfax, Ponomarev’s lawyer, Maria Bast, announced at the court hearing that he has compensated nearly all of the Skolkovo Foundation’s financial complaints. Bast asked to present Skolkovo’s documentation of this fact in court, but the judge refused.

“The investigation’s request is honored. Interim measures against Ponomarev include arrest in absentia,” announced judge Valentina Levashova. According the law, the arrest will last for a period of two months and will be counted from the moment he is actually detained.

TASS

The investigation claims that Ponomarev earned 22 million rubles (about $400,000) for reading a series of lectures and conducting research for the Skolkovo Foundation, while the actual cost of his work was estimated to be much lower.

Ilya Ponomarev currently resides outside of Russia. He was stripped of his parliamentary immunity on April 7, in order for the embezzlement investigation to be conducted.

Ponomarev was part of the “Just Russia” faction. He was the only Duma deputy to vote against the annexation of Crimea.