ormer Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov was called in as a witness to testify in a Bank of Moscow criminal case, according to a “senior source in the investigation,”.
Luzhkov, however, said he was unavailable as he was abroad, but was willing to cooperate with the investigation.“We confirm that Yury Luzhkov was called in for questioning as a witness,” quoted the department’s spokeswoman Anzhela Kastuyeva as saying, without confirming the date of the questioning.
Luzhkov said that he was unable to attend, however.
“I was summoned for questioning on Monday, Oct. 24. But now I'm overseas, where I am giving a lecture. However, I shall appear before the investigator as soon as I return to Russia,” Luzhkov told Interfax.
Luzhkov stressed that he will turn up for questioning because he was “a law-abiding citizen.”
“I have reason to believe that I was called to the investigative department because of my interview to Radio Liberty,” Luzhkov said.
In the interview Luzhkov referred to, he was very critical of the Russian leadership and United Russia.The main defendants in the criminal embezzlement case at the Bank of Moscow are ex-bank president Andrei Borodin and his former deputy, Dmitry Akulinin.
Both Borodin and Akulinin have been put on the international wanted list. Borodin previously stated that he was in London and his state of health does not allow him to come to Russia.
Luzhkov, who was in charge of Moscow for 18 years, was prematurely dismissed from his post as mayor of Moscow in September 2010 by presidential decree in connection with president’s stated loss of confidence.