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MOSCOW, December 7 (Itar-Tass) — Former Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov said his wife Yelena Baturina would return to Moscow to report for questioning at the investigator's office.
"Yelena /Baturina/ has never refused to come over for questioning; the most important thing for her, and even more to me is that she is able to travel back to the country where she is staying and be together with the children there," Luzhkov said in an in interview to the Dozhd /Rain/ channel on Tuesday evening.
When asked if he had passed to Baturina the summon from the Interior Ministry's investigation department, he said "no." "An investigator handed over the summon to me for passing it to Yelena /Baturina/, I went to London and said there was a summon, but I will not pass /the summon/ because an invitation to testify at the Investigative Committee should be properly drawn," the former mayor said.
This procedure gives immunity to a person who comes here from abroad for testimony, to enable them to return to the country of stay. That summon did not stipulate such immunity. If Baturina is given a proper summon, she gets immunity for return journey, according to Luzhkov.
Luzhkov, who was questioned at the investigation department within the case over Bank of Moscow funds theft, earlier promised to pass the summon for questioning to his wife Yelena Baturina.
The investigation department has repeatedly summoned Luzhkov's wife Yelena Baturina as a witness. It summoned her to testify in the case on February 25, March 4 and April 8, but she never turned up as she was abroad.
"In case of Baturina's further non-appearance for questioning, preliminary investigation bodies will take complete measures including Interpol opportunities," an official at the investigation department underlined, adding that the department might send inquiries to the British and Austrian authorities.
In 2009, more than 12 billion roubles were transferred to the accounts of the INTEKO company. The money came as a loan to the Premier Estate company. The investigator believes "the loan was taken on the basis of unauthentic information about the subject and cost of the collateral - a 58-hectare land plot "Ramenskoye Territorial Directorate," belonging to three INTEKO employees, including Baturina, who had a 90-percent stake.
INTEKO has changed hands by now. Baturina has been staying abroad.
In late 2010, a criminal case was opened against former Bank of Moscow president Andrei Borodin and his former first deputy Dmitry Akulinin. They were accused of fraud and Interpol issued notices for their arrest.
Luzhkov said he saw "politics" behind the case. But chief of the Kremlin staff Sergei Naryshkin said there were two reasons behind the president's decision to dismiss Luzhkov: "firstly, it's extremely ineffective city management, and, secondly, runaway corruption under Luzhkov and his associates."
Luzhkov was Moscow mayor for 18 years. On September 28, 2010, President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree on early termination of his powers. The document said the mayor had been dismissed because of "the loss of trust."