Russian deputy who opposed Crimea seizure stripped of immunity

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 07, 2015 10:58 AM

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's parliament voted on Tuesday to strip the only deputy who voted against last year's annexation of Crimea of his immunity from prosecution as a lawmaker.

State prosecutors had asked the State Duma lower house to deprive opposition deputy Ilya Ponomaryov of his immunity, opening the way for him to face embezzlement charges.

Ponomaryov, who is now in the United States and one of the last critics of President Vladimir Putin in the chamber, says the case against him is politically motivated.

He faces an investigation over his work for a state-funded technological foundation, and has been under increased pressure since he voted against the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine a year ago in the 450-seat Duma.

(Reporting By Timothy Heritage, editing by Elizabeth Piper)