4 Jul 2019 18:07

Moldovan Prosecutor General's office opens case against businessman Shor for illegal border-crossing

CHISINAU. July 4 (Interfax) - The Moldovan Prosecutor General's Office has opened a criminal case against businessman and leader of the Shor party Ilan Shor for illegally crossing the country's border, Moldovan Prosecutor General Eduard Harunjen told a press conference on Thursday.

Shor's prosecution on charges of involvement in bank fraud began in 2016, Harunjen said.

"He was under house arrest, as well as being under investigative supervision [travel restrictions]. In that time, he never violated the ban on leaving the country, he always came to court at first demand. Therefore, it is wrong to accuse prosecutors of having failed to take measures to prevent Ilan Shor from leaving the country. The first time he failed to show up in court was last week, on June 26. After that, we learned that he was not in the country," he said.

Harunjen said there is no information on whether citizen Ilan Shor has crossed the Moldovan state border. "According to official information, he did not leave the country via the border at an airport. Therefore, he not only violated his travel restrictions, but illegally crossed the border, too. A criminal case has been opened," he said.

"Prosecutors are continuing to investigate the theft of one billion dollars from the Moldovan banking system," Harunjen said, adding that he is not going to resign despite the president's and the prime minister's demands. "I don't see any grounds for my resignation. External pressure and politicians' demands are not a reason. I'm not going to comment on politicians' statements," he said.

In June 2017, Shor was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison, but he still remains free as the court decision takes effect after being reviewed by the Moldovan Appeals Chamber.

Moldova's main tycoon Vladimir Plahotniuc, Ilan Shor and people close to them left Moldova on June 14, immediately after the Democratic Party announced that it had joined the opposition. The Moldovan Interior Ministry believes Plahotniuc is in the United States and Shor in Israel. Moldovan Interior Minister Andrej Nestase said he intends to seek assistance with investigations into the crimes committed by them from the FBI.