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MOSCOW, April 19 (Itar-Tass) – Russia’s Investigative Committee (SK) during the investigation of a new criminal case over embezzlement in the Skolkovo Foundation intends to check scientific value of lectures delivered by member of the State Duma lower house of parliament Ilya Ponomaryov who was paid 30 thousand US dollars for each.
The SK press service told Itar-Tass that “the themes, content and scientific value of 10 lectures of Mr Ponomaryov who was to deliver them under a contract concluded with the Skolkovo Foundation, and received for this 300 thousand US dollars.” Thus, the SK pointed out, the Foundation valued each of the lectures at 30 thousand US dollars.
According to the SK, “One of the mandatory conditions of the contract was that the lecturer should act strictly in the interests of the customer.” Thus, according to the SK, Ponomaryov on September 30, 2011 delivered one lecture at the RF Public Chamber that lasted for just 12 minutes, and “it is for this conversation in the roundtable discussion format that he accounted for as for a lecture.”
In St. Petersburg on September 1, 2011 Ponomaryov spoke only for 17 minutes at a conference devoted to the electronic government on the issue “intellectual property protection.”
“The information that Ponomaryov allegedly delivered a lecture at Tomsk University on October 27, 2011 has not been confirmed as well. According to the investigation, he was not there at all,” the SK added.
“The investigation intends to fully check the information that Ponomaryov at that moment had higher education and assess the value of his scientific work,” the press service stated.
At the same time, the Investigative Committee “has taken with surprise the statements made by Mr Beltyukov and Mr Ponomaryov after the news came about the opening of the criminal case over embezzlement in the Skolkovo Foundation.
Earlier, the SK reported that a criminal case over large-scale embezzlement against Senior Vice President of the Skolkovo Foundation Alexei Beltyukov was opened. The SK press service said that “the investigation has established that in the period from February 2011 to February 2012 Alexei Beltyukov illegally passed to State Duma member Ilya Ponomaryov 750,000 US dollars from the Skolkovo Foundation’s funds. Beltyukov tried to disguise such a major waste by entering into contracts with Ponomaryov on behalf of the Foundation. According to these contracts, Ponomaryov for 300 thousand US dollars had to deliver 10 lectures in several Russian cities and for 450 thousand US dollars to perform a research project.”
The SK Main Investigation Department opened a criminal case against Alexei Beltyukov under Article 160, part 4 of the RF Criminal Code (large scale embezzlement).
The criminal case was opened based on the materials of an inquiry in connection with an request by Russian State Duma member Vladimir Zhirinovsky to check the actions of his colleague MP Ilya Ponomaryov for the presence of elements of crime under Article 128.1, part 5 (slander) and Article 289 of the RF Criminal Code (illegal conduct of entrepreneurial activity).
Meanwhile, Ilya Ponomaryov claims that “at the time of signing the contract Beltyukov did not even work at Skolkovo and was not the initiator of this contract. He later accompanied him and signed additional agreements.” The MP also expressed surprise at the fact that the Investigative Committee “has ventured to judge what Skolkovo needs and what not, and what the economy needs, to assess the work in the sphere of innovations done by scientists, including Nobel prize winners.”