Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ex-Moscow Mayor Sues Kremlin Official in Libel

The former long-time mayor of Moscow, Yury Luzhkov, sued a top Kremlin official over accusations of presiding over “rampant corruption.” Presidential Administration head Sergei Naryshkin said “inefficient city management” was not the only reason behind Luzhkov’s dismissal by President Dmitry Medvedev last September. There was also an “appalling level” of bribery and corruption “fostered by Luzhkov and his aides,” Naryshkin said. “Responding to this claim, which appeared more than a year after my resignation, I am filing a lawsuit for defamation,” Luzhkov told the Izvestia newspaper. Luzhkov pointed out that “not a single Moscow government official” was prosecuted for corruption during his 18-year rule as Moscow mayor. Meanwhile, state prosecutors summoned Luzhkov for questioning over a corruption inquiry into the Bank of Moscow, Russia’s fifth largest bank, which the ex-mayor used to fund property projects. Luzhkov, who is currently abroad, believes the move is politically motivated. “We live in a sick state where the law enforcement system is itself mired in corruption and where an objective judicial system is absent,” Luzhkov said.

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