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Baturina Says No to Court Summons

Yelena Baturina, the billionaire wife of Moscow's former mayor, has refused to appear for questioning in the alleged embezzlement of billions of rubles of state funds, it was reported Sunday.

Baturina refused to accept a summons to appear before the Investigative Committee, saying the way it was delivered violated "established legal process," her husband Yury Luzhkov told Interfax.

The summons had been given to Luzhkov to bring to his wife after he turned himself in for questioning in Moscow on Nov. 15.

Officials said they relied on a statute that allows them to hand a summons to an adult relative if the whereabouts of a person required for questioning are unknown. Baturina has been living abroad since her husband was forced from office last year and she sold her real estate firm, Inteko.

Investigators have been probing Baturina and Luzhkov's alleged involvement in the theft of 12.7 billion rubles ($413 million) of state money in 2009 through Bank of Moscow, which was controlled by City Hall at the time.

Her brother, Viktor Baturin, has been held on fraud charges stemming from the alleged sale of bogus promissory notes.

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