24 May 2022 19:36

Moldovan Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office confirms Dodon's detention for 72 hours

CHISINAU. May 24 (Interfax) - Former Moldovan President Igor Dodon and his relative have been detained for 72 hours as a result of investigative measures carried out by the Moldovan Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office on Tuesday, its acting head Elena Kazakov said.

She confirmed that Dodon and persons from his entourage are being investigated in a criminal case opened on charges of "passive corruption," "receiving funding by a political party from a criminal organization," "illicit enrichment" and "high treason."

"During the investigative measures on Tuesday, ten searches were conducted in the offices and homes of the suspects. As a result, the former president and another suspect were detained for 72 hours," Kazakov said.

Journalists learned that along with Dodon, his wife's brother Petru Merineanu was detained.

"During the search, large sums of money and property worth tens of millions of lei, as well as vehicles, real estate, luxury goods, and various contracts were discovered. In the home of the suspect, 600,000 lei (about 30,000 euros), as well as an envelope with party symbols, which contained 17,000 euros and $1,000 were discovered. Documents for tourist trips (to Russia) totaling more than four million Russian rubles were found," Kazakov said, refusing to answer journalists' questions.

On Tuesday, searches were conducted at a three-story private house where Dodon's family lives; a house belonging to his parents in the village of Sadova 60 kilometers away from Chisinau; a former holiday camp privatized by Dodon in a forest near Sadova; a holiday center in the village of Molovata on the bank of the Dniester River, which also belongs to Dodon's family, and the office of the Moldovan-Russian Business Union, which Dodon set up and led since February 2022.

In 2020, former deputy Iurie Renita published a fragment of a meeting between Dodon, Democratic Party leader Vladimir Plahotniuc, and his deputy Sergei Yaralov. The meeting took place in June 2019, when the Socialist Party and the Democratic Party tried to agree on setting up a parliamentary majority and a joint government. The agreement failed, and a few days later Plahotniuc fled the country. It is assumed that it was he who made the hidden recording and made it public in order to discredit Dodon.

Acting Moldovan Prosecutor General Dumitru Robu last week ordered the resumption of the inquiry into the 2019 events. Robu overturned an instruction issued by suspended Prosecutor General Alexandru Stoianoglo, who refused to open a criminal case in May 2020, citing a lack of evidence.