Bribery allegations against University benefactor

Matt Gurtler 27 February 2017

Dmitry Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch, has been charged with bribery and corruption. A Vienna court has granted permission for him to be extradited to the US to stand trial for these charges.

Firtash was the main donor who set up Cambridge's department of Ukrainian Studies, part of the department of Slavonic Studies. He claims that the charges are false and that the US is prosecuting him for political reasons.

A University spokesperson told The Cambridge Student: "The original benefaction of £4.3m was to establish the Ukrainian Studies Endowment Fund, which funded Ukrainian Studies at the University and funded one academic post, a position which has been filled.

"A further pledge of £1.95m was made in 2013 to fund an additional academic position. Subsequent to Mr Firtash's arrest, the Advisory Committee decided that these funds should be placed in a ring-fenced holding account until legal proceedings are completed."

Firtash is also being prosecuted in Spain and if he is not extradited to the US, he may have to appear in court in Madrid.

Information sourced from The Financial Times