Opposition lawmaker to pay $83k to Skolkovo Foundation
MOSCOW, August 27 (RAPSI) - Moscow's Gagarinsky District Court has ruled that State Duma lawmaker Ilya Ponomaryov must pay 2,728 million rubles ($82,776) to the Skolkovo Foundation, Russia's high-tech development center, RAPSI reported from the courtroom.
The court has thus granted in part a claim by the foundation to collect 9 million rubles ($273,088) from the lawmaker.
Investigative Committee spokesperson Vladimir Markin earlier said they planned to launch criminal proceedings against Ponomaryov as part of the Skolkovo Foundation's lawsuit and would be requesting that he be stripped of parliamentary immunity.
According to the investigators, former Skolkovo Vice President Alexei Beltyukov paid Ponomaryov $750,000 of the foundation's money without sanction between February 2011 and February 2012 for lectures and research projects.
An investigation was launched into Beltyukov's actions to analyze the subject, the content and the academic value of the lectures that Ponomaryov was contracted to provide for $300,000.
The Skolkovo Foundation, set up in 2010 by then-President Dmitry Medvedev, is the primary agency for the Skolkovo high-tech development hub, which includes a business center, a science and technology institute and a management school. The project is intended to showcase the drive to diversify and modernize the Russian economy.
Renova Group President Viktor Vekselberg is one of the foundation's prime investors.