MOSCOW, October 16 /TASS/. The Russian Investigation Committee hopes that Russian deputy from "A Just Russia" party, Ilya Ponomaryov, suspected in corruption, will be extradited to Russia, Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for the Committee, said on Friday.
Earlier in the day, the Russian State Duma voted for taking Ponomaryov into custody as a measure of restraint.
Russia has put the fugitive deputy on the international wanted list for a corruption-related crime.
"No matter what Ponomaryov used to say in the past or is going to say in future, it is clear he committed a trivial crime — misappropriated the property entrusted to him. I believe that any civilized rule-of-law state, which has given a home to the fugitive deputy, should assist the Investigation Committee in extraditing him to Russia for prosecution on corruption charges," Markin explained.
He said that criminal proceedings against Ponomryov were one of the criminal lawsuits that had been filed in abundance against deputies of the Russian Federal Assembly (parliament) in recent years.
"The membership of a political party or political preferences and convictions have never had and will never have any significance for investigators. Criminal lawsuits initiated against Federation Council (upper house of parliament) member Konstantin Tsybko and deputy Vladimir Bessonov have been sent to court. Criminal proceedings have been initiated and investigations launched against deputies Oleg Mikheyev and Nikolay Parshin; former deputy Mikhail Glushchenko and others. They belong to various political parties but there is one thing that unites all of them apart from their deputy status: having been elected as people’s deputies, they have broken the law and they will have to answer for it irrespective of political and ideological predilections," Markin said.
The Investigation Committee suspects Ponomaryov of complicity to misappropriation of property entrusted to him.
According to the Russian Investigation Committee, the Skolkovo Foundation struck a 750,000 dollar deal with Ponomaryov for carrying out scientific research in 2010. The investigators believe that Ponomaryov helped Alexey Beltyukov, the foundation’s senior vice-president for development and commercialization, to steal that money.