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MOSCOW, October 27 (Itar-Tass) — The Kremlin believes it is out of place to speak about the alleged political persecution of former Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov and offers the ex-mayor to come to Moscow to give evidence, Russian president’s spokeswoman Natalia Timakova said on Thursday in reply to requests to comment on Luzhkov’s latest statements.
“It is laughable to speak about the alleged persecution of the former mayor – a retired politician does not deserve the honour,” the spokeswoman stressed. “Major crimes are investigated, different people are interrogated. To the best of my knowledge, Yuri Mikhailovich has so far been invited as a witness,” Timakova added.
She marked that in such cases a thesis of political persecution is often used, although it is corruption that is the case.
“If Yuri Luzhkov, who enjoys his old age pension abroad considers himself innocent, he should not say in interviews that he will certainly get back to Moscow, but instead he must come and give evidence,” the president’s press secretary stressed.
Investigators intend to interrogate Luzhkov as eye witness on a purchase by the Moscow government in 2009 of a block of shares of the Bank of Moscow worth 15 billion roubles, sources from the press service of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department told Tass on Tuesday.
They explained that the ex-mayor is summoned as witness in a criminal case instituted on December 10, 2010 by the Main Investigations Division of Moscow City’s Interior Department.