Ex-Moscow mayor Luzhkov gives vague answers during questioning

Former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov was questioned over a fraud case at the Interior Ministry and answered investigators’ questions using “general phrases,” a ministry spokesperson said on Tuesday.

“Luzhkov answered the questions using general phrases. In this regard the investigators plan to look into Luzhkov’s testimony and if something is important, he will be asked more specific questions,” the spokesperson said.

The case involves the Bank of Moscow, partly-owned by the Russian capital’s city government during Luzhkov’s term in office, which lent 12.76 billion rubles ($413.3 million) to an obscure real estate firm. The firm used the money to buy land for a construction company owned by Luzhkov’s billionaire wife, Yelena Baturina, at prices investigators said were inflated.

The 75-year-old ex-mayor has been accused of using his post to help Baturina amass her fortune, a claim he denies.

The Investigating Committee summoned Yelena Baturina for questioning but she has ignored investigators. Yury Luzhkov on Tuesday was given a summons addressed to his wife which he promised to deliver.

“He was given a summons that he should give to his wife and he promised to do it,” the spokesperson said.

Earlier, Luzhkov in an interview that he had forbidden his wife, who is presently abroad, from returning to Moscow “as there are no guarantees that she will be able to return to her children.”


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