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Former mayor Luzhkov returns to Moscow

File Photo of Yuri Luzhkov at Podium
file photo
MOSCOW, November 9 (RIA Novosti) - Former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov has returned to Moscow and begun work at the International University in Moscow as head of the City Management Department, a university spokesperson said.

"He is at work today. All other questions should be directed to the head of the university," she added. Luzhkov was dismissed last autumn by President Dmitry Medvedev over a lack of "trust." The weeks leading up to his dismissal had seen allegations of massive corruption aired on state TV channels.

It was earlier reported that Luzhkov had been summoned for questioning in a corruption inquiry regarding a Moscow bank, but he had failed to appear because he was outside Russia.

Russian investigators said that Yelena Baturina, Luzhkov's wife and founder of the Inteco real estate empire, had also ignored summons for questioning.

In 2010, investigators launched an inquiry into a deal under which Bank of Moscow lent 13 billion rubles ($413 million) to an obscure real estate firm, Premier Estate. The firm used the money to buy land for a construction company owned by Baturina at above-market prices.

Investigators will question Luzhkov over the purchase of Bank of Moscow shares during an additional issue. Most of the money the bank received from the Moscow government was later lent to the Premier Estate firm.

Luzhkov said that he was not afraid of being questioned. "I will answer all the questions honestly. I have nothing to hide," he added.

He said there were no legal grounds to accuse him of any wrongdoing.

"Despite the saying 'If there is a person, there will be a reason to sue him,' I have always defended and will defend my reputation and the reputation of my family," Luzhkov said.

Luzhkov recently said that he had been summoned for questioning in connection with an interview in which he criticized the Russian government and the ruling party, United Russia.


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