MOSCOW, July 15. /TASS/. Russian lawmaker Ilya Ponomaryov charged in absentia with complicity in embezzling Skolkovo hi-tech hub’s funds has been placed on an international wanted list, a police source told TASS on Wednesday.
"Ponomaryov was put on the international wanted list in early July as he is hiding outside Russia, ignoring summons of the investigators," the source said. "The Russian Interior Ministry’s National Central Bureau of Interpol has been tasked with the search for him."
The criminal probe was opened into the misuse of $750,000 allocated under a 2010 contract with Ponomaryov on the fulfillment of R&D work and lecturing.
Under the agreement, Ponomaryov undertook to carry out R&D work in several stages, prepare analytical reports and have his work reviewed by international research organizations.
Skolkovo Vice-President Alexei Beltyukov later signed an additional agreement with Ponomaryov, which reduced the contract price to $450,000 but actually cancelled the system of stage-by-stage reports, the Investigative Committee spokesman said earlier this month.
The investigators said this had created conditions for stealing Skolkovo money in favor of Ponomaryov.
The Moscow Basmanny Court will consider Ponomaryov’s arrest in absentia on July 17.
"This does not trouble me at all," Ponomaryov told TASS commenting on the court’s plans.
"Let them come and arrest me, I can even give me my address [in the US]," he said. "I am looking forward to them [investigators] reaching the international justice."
He also said his lawyers had not been informed about the Moscow court’s plans to consider his arrest in amentia. Ponomaryov also said he was not going to seek political asylum.