Genri Reznik, a lawyer of ex-Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov, denied on Thursday media reports that said Luzhkov plans to ask foreign-based attorneys to represent his interests in the Bank of Moscow embezzlement case where he is a witness.
Some Russian media earlier on Thursday cited Reznik as saying that Luzhkov intends to use the services of foreign lawyers due to the large amount of materials in the Bank of Moscow case.
“I officially declare that these reports with reference to me are a dirty lie and dirty journalistic work dishonoring the [journalistic profession],” Reznik said.
The lawyer said he only told media that the volume of materials was big but added that he said nothing of Luzhkov’s alleged plan to hire a group of foreign attorneys.
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 ($415 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.
Luzhkov was on Tuesday questioned over the fraud case at the Interior Ministry.
The Investigative Committee summoned Baturina for questioning but she has not turned up. Luzhkov on Tuesday was given a summons addressed to his wife, which he promised to deliver.
Earlier, Luzhkov said in an interview that he had forbidden his wife, who is presently abroad, to return to Moscow “as there are no guarantees that she will be able to return to her children.”