29 Dec 2021 14:48

Former Moldovan President Dodon says questioned by prosecution service, designated as suspect

CHISINAU. Dec 29 (Interfax) - Former Moldovan President, leader of the pro-Russian opposition Party of Socialists Igor Dodon said he was questioned by the Prosecutor General's Office on Wednesday and designated as a suspect "in the case of electricity theft through the Energocom state company."

Dodon told reporters he was shown documents allegedly associated with him in 2008, when he was serving as the economy minister, an Interfax correspondent reported.

"I said I had nothing to do with it. I am open to cooperation with the investigators. I am not going to flee. It's a pity that some media outlets have been staging a show called 'Dodon is fleeing the country!','" the former president said.

He described the criminal case as "an attempt of the authorities to distract public attention from the problems caused by price and tariff hikes and inferior public governance."

"A bunch of tiny evil gnomes are thinking of what to do next," Dodon said.

A group of supporters and several opponents met the former president near the Prosecutor General's Office building. Supporters were chanting approval slogans, and opponents called for jailing Dodon.

According to the Prosecutor General's Office, a person can be designated as a suspect for three months, after which a prosecutor needs to establish a new legal status of such a person.

Investigators believe that managers of Energocom, which supplies electric power to Moldova, conspired with officials from the Economy Ministry, the regulator and other parties, including those residing outside Moldova, in 2008 to overstate the electricity purchase price and to embezzle the difference. Prosecutors estimate the skimmed difference at $11.97 million.