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GORBACHEV FACES FINANCES PROBE OF COMMUNIST PARTY

The Russian prosecutor has requested that Mikhail S. Gorbachev remain in Moscow in early April for questioning on the finances of the now-defunct Communist Party, a news agency reported Wednsday.

The Communist Party is suspected of funneling hundreds of millions of dollars overseas, mainly to other Communist parties, over the past decade. The party received substantial support from the state treasury.Gorbachev, the former Soviet president, led the Soviet Communist Party until it was suspended and later banned in Russia after the failed August coup.

Citing well-informed sources, the Interfax news agency said Gorbachev had received an official notice from the prosecutor with a request not to leave Moscow in the first 10 days of April.

Interfax said most of the former Politburo, the top Communist Party body that once ran the country, had been questioned in connection with the party's finances.

There was no immediate comment from the prosecutor's office or from Gorbachev on the report.

In an interview Tuesday in The Washington Post, Gorbachev criticized Russian President Boris Yeltsin, saying the "country is being torn apart" by Yeltsin's policies and those of other leaders of the former Soviet Union.