MOSCOW, November 15 - RAPSI. Former Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov testified on Tuesday at the Interior Ministry's investigative department regarding embezzlements in a major bank; Luzhkov left the department as a witness, the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI) reported from the court on Tuesday.

The Bank of Moscow is one of Russia's leading universal commercial banks in terms of assets, capital and amount of funds drawn from the population, the bank's website reads.

The Interior Ministry's Investigative Department opened a case against former Bank of Moscow President Andrei Borodin and his deputy Dmitry Akulinin in late 2010. Both are alleged to have defrauded the Moscow government of 12.76 billion rubles ($417.39 million) via a loan issued by the bank to the Premier Estate company.

Premier Estate used the funds to purchase from TD Ramenskaya, a company owned by Lyuzhkov's wife Yelena Baturina, 58 hectares of land in western Moscow.

Investigators believe that the Bank of Moscow employees were aware that Premier Estate provided false information on the property pledged as security for the loan.
Nevertheless, they misled the bank's management in appraising the consolidated credit risk