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Russian opposition lawmaker suspected of fraud ready to take polygraph test

March 03, 2016, 17:54 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Ilya Ponomarev has denied all charges brought against him in Russia

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Ilya Ponomarev

Ilya Ponomarev

© Mikhail Japaridze/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, March 3 /TASS/. Russian State Duma Deputy Ilya Ponomarev accused of complicity to misappropriation of the Skolkovo Foundation’s funds is ready to take a polygraph test to prove his innocence, his lawyer Maria Bast told TASS on Thursday.

"Today, I sent an explanation that Ilya Vladimirovich [Ponomarev - TASS] wrote in response to the charges brought against him back in summer to the Investigative Committee. In his letter, my client refutes all the accusations and says he is ready to take a polygraph test to prove his innocence," Bast said.

If the investigators decide to appoint a Russian expert (for a lies detector test), the counsel for the defense will be ready to solve this problem (since the defendant is staying abroad), the lawyer added.

On April 7, 2015, the Russian State Duma stripped Ponomarev of his deputy immunity on the basis of materials provided by prosecutors. Shortly after, the Russian Investigative Committee opened a criminal case against him.

Ponomarev is accused of complicity to misappropriation of funds allocated for promoting the innovations developed by the Skolkovo Foundation. Alexey Beltyukov, Skolkovo’s senior vice-president for development and commercialization, is the second person to face charges on Ponomarev’s case. According to investigators, Betlyukov paid $750,000 to Deputy Ilya Ponomarev under the 2010 contract for reading lectures and carrying out R & D works.

Russia has issued an international warrant for Ponomarev’s arrest.

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