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Ex-TD's boss in €550k funds misuse probe


Conor Lenihan. Photo: Tom Burke

Conor Lenihan. Photo: Tom Burke

Conor Lenihan. Photo: Tom Burke

THE Russian agency where former minister Conor Lenihan now works has found itself at the centre of an investigation into over the alleged misuse of Government funds.

The president of Skolkovo Foundation, Viktor Vekselberg, has been questioned by an investigate committee over allegations that money was used to help a political party.

However, Mr Lenihan, who is vice-president of the digital enterprise, has told the Herald that it's "business as usual".

He said that the project was operating successfully and would continue to do so.

According to reports in Russian media, the investigation centres on a suspicion that around €550,000 was embezzled between February 2011 and February 2012.

It is alleged that the money was used by opposition politician for a series of lectures and research projects.

Mr Vekselberg is reported to have provided "exhaustive answers" to investigators and has denied all the allegations.

Mr Lenihan is not suspected of any wrong-doing and has no involvement in the probe.

Skolkovo Foundation is tasked with building a technology centre in Moscow and according to former Fianna Fail politician has been extremely successful to date.

Mr Lenihan pointed to the fact that Russian President Valdamir Putin recently gave his backing to the project.