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MOSCOW, November 9 (Itar-Tass) — The Investigation Department of the Russian Interior Ministry expects former Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov to give evidence within the next few days as a witness on thefts in the Bank of Moscow.
Close associates of the former mayor have confirmed to Itar-Tass that Luzhkov has returned to Moscow. “We expect that Yuri Mikhailovich will appear before the investigator for questioning early on November 15,” they said.
In particular, 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 interrogation was due to have taken place on October 28, but Luzhkov warned in an official letter that he could not appear on that day as he was outside Russia. However, the former mayor said he would be ready to appear at the Investigation Department any day after he returned to Russia – from November 11 to 22.
Luzhkov himself says this case is politically motivated.
Earlier, the head of the Russian president’s administration, Sergei Naryshkin, noted that the Russian presidential decision to fire Luzhkov had two reasons. “First, this is a very inefficient management of the city, secondly, this is an exorbitant corruption level under Luzhkov and his associates,” the chief of the Kremlin administration said.
Luzhkov worked at the post of the Moscow mayor for 18 years. On September 28, 2010, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree on the early termination of Luzhkov’s powers as mayor. “To dismiss Yuri Mikhailovich Luzhkov from the post of Moscow mayor over the loss of trust of the Russian president,” the decree runs.
Sergei Sobyanin was appointed as Moscow mayor in October 2010. Sobyanin was the deputy prime minister and the chief of Russian prime minister’s staff before the appointment as Moscow mayor.