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Luzhkov, Baturina fail to give evidence on Bank of Moscow case

October 28, 2011, 12:42 UTC+3

The investigators wish to know more about the purchase by the Moscow government in 2009 of shares of the Bank of Moscow during additional emission

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MOSCOW, October 28 (Itar-Tass) —— Yuri Luzhkov, ex-mayor of Moscow, has not come to the Investigation Department of the Russian Interior Ministry to be interrogated on thefts in the Bank of Moscow. For that reason his interrogation was postponed, a representative of the press service of the Investigation Department told Itar-Tass. He stressed that if Luzhkov and his wife Yelena Baturina again failed to come for interrogation as witnesses on the case, some measures might be taken against them, including with the use of Interpol.

“Ex-Mayor Luzhkov was to come to the Investigation Department at 10.00 on Friday. He was summoned to give evidence as a witness on the criminal case, connected with money theft in the Bank of Moscow,” the official explained.

The investigators wish to know more about the purchase by the Moscow government in 2009 of shares of the Bank of Moscow during additional emission. Shortly afterwards the Bank of Moscow channelled a major part of the money received from Moscow (some 13 billion roubles) into the crediting of Premier Estate Company. “The investigator was informed by an official letter sent by Luzhkov about his inability to take part in the investigation operation on October 28, because he was outside Russia. This is why his interrogation was postponed,” the official said.

“If the person involved in the investigation of a criminal case continues to keep away from the investigation operation, measures, envisaged by the present criminal procedure legislation, may be taken against him,” said the representative of the Investigation Department.

Yelena Baturina was summoned to the Investigation Department for the same purpose – to give evidence as a witness -- three times (on February 25, March 4 and April 8). “She did not come on any of those days. In response to the summons, the investigators received messages from the INTECO Company, signed by the head of the personnel department, which said that Baturina was away from Russia and for that reason could not give evidence to the investigators,” the official continued.

He reminded that in the long run, some 12 billion roubles, received as a credit by Premier Estate from the Bank of Moscow in 2009, had been transferred to INTECO, which belonged to Baturina. The credit was received on the basis of false information about the object and value of the mortgage – the 58-hectare plot of land “Territorial Directorate of Ramkenskoye,” which belonged to three INTECO executives (Baturina owned 90 per cent of it).

“The investigators will also examine the legality of the procedure, under which INTECO and Baturina acquired the right to that plot of land. If they find elements of another crime, it may be investigated as a separate criminal case,” the official of the Investigation Department said.

The INTECO Company has changed hands, while Baturina remains abroad.

“If Baturina again fails to come to the Investigation Department for interrogation as a witness, the investigation authorities will take action for ensuring further investigation with her participation, including with the help of Interpol,” he stressed. “If need be, the law enforcement agencies of Russia will make corresponding enquiries on legal aid to the judicial authorities of Britain and Austria.”


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