21 Jul 2023 20:16

Moldova requests access to OSCE investigation of Transdnistrian Communist leader's murder

CHISINAU. July 21 (Interfax) - A Moldovan delegation has asked the Joint Control Commission (JCC) for the Transdniestria peace process to allow its specialists to investigate the murder of Transdniestrian opposition politician Oleg Khorzhan under the aegis of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Moldovan government's Bureau of Reintegration told Interfax.

The delegation justified its request based on the fact that the murder scene is located in the village of Sucleia, which is in the safety zone controlled by the JCC. The delegation said that such an investigation would be in conformity with the principles of cooperation between the OSCE Mission in Moldova and the JCC, which were signed in December 2004, the Bureau said.

"We strongly condemn the criminal acts which claimed a human life, and request access to the case for our law enforcement specialists with a view to carrying out criminal prosecution in accordance with the law," the delegation said.

The Transdniestrian Investigative Committee and the Moldovan Prosecutor's Office have launched inquiries, but Moldovan law enforcement has no access to the province. Earlier, the leader of Transdniestria, Vadim Krasnoselsky, told EU Ambassador to Moldova Janis Mazeiks that the region's investigative authorities would request assistance from the Moldovan Interior Ministry if necessary.

Khorzhan was killed in his home on Monday. The Moldovan governmental Reintegration Bureau proposed setting up an investigative commission under the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe aegis to investigate the crime.

Khorzhan led the Transdniestrian Union of Opposition Forces and was the chairman of the Transdniestrian Communist Party and a former member of the Supreme Council of Transdniestria. He sharply criticized the Transdniestrian authorities. In 2017, he started to work actively with Moldova's ex-president Igor Dodon and the Party of Socialists led by him. In 2018-2022, Khorzhan served a term for violence against an authority representative for a fight with police after a rally.

In mid-July, Khorzhan signed a declaration of cooperation with Moldova's non-parliamentary opposition party Civil Congress. It is the first such document on cooperation between political parties on both banks of the Dniester.