Billionaire NZ businessman Christopher Chandler accused of Russian spy links

A billionaire Kiwi businessman has been accused of having links with Russian intelligence.

The claims were made under parliamentary privilege by UK Conservative MP Bob Seely. He alleged that Dubai-based Christopher Chandler was seen by French security officials as an "object of interest".

Mr Chandler made his fortune in Russia in the 1990s, including investments in a Russian state-controlled gas company.

Mr Seely said information had been provided by French intelligence agency DST, and authenticated by senior French, British and US intelligence sources.

"I have been shown documents that we believe relate to our national security and money laundering," he told the Commons.

"According to the French security services, as recorded by their colleagues in Monaco… Mr Chandler is described as having been 'an object of interest' to the DST since 2002 on suspicion of… working for the Russian intelligence services."

However the Legatum Institute has denied the claims in a series of tweets.

"Christopher Chandler has never been associated directly or indirectly with Russian intelligence or the Russian state," it says.

"Neither Christopher Chandler nor anyone at Legatum is aware of any such alleged 'investigation' by French authorities, not 16 years ago or at any time since."

Upon receiving Newshub's request for comment, Legatum sent a link to a blog Mr Chandler had written.

Within the blog, Mr Chandler says he is "not and never have been associated with the Russian state in any capacity. There is no evidence to support claims to the contrary."