Moldova’s pro-Russian opposition leader detained for corruption | Moldova

The leader of Moldova’s pro-Russian opposition party, former President Igor Dodon, has reportedly been arrested on corruption charges, which could anger the Kremlin.

State TV channel Moldova 1 and Russian state news agency RIA both reported the detention, citing anti-corruption prosecutor Elena Cazakov.

Photographs showed members of Moldova’s Information and Security Service escorting Dodon to a van after his arrest at his home in the capital, Chisinau.

Cazacov did not identify the detainee but said the investigation focused on alleged acts of “illicit enrichment, passive bribery, illegal party funding and (treason), which have taken place since 2014 “.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Kremlin expressed concern over media reports that Dodon had been detained, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov calling on Moldovan authorities to respect his rights.

Socialist Party Vice President Vlad Batrîncea said he believed the investigators’ actions were a politically motivated decision by authorities loyal to pro-Western President Maia Sandu, who replaced Dodon as president in 2020.

“It’s a dangerous game, those who go against the opposition want to cause destabilization,” Batrincea told a briefing.

Sandu won a landslide victory in 2020 after tapping into voter anger over a long history of political scandals and burnout over rampant corruption, including the theft of a billion dollars from Moldovan banks in 2014-15. .

A representative for Sandu, who is in the United States to celebrate his 50th birthday, did not respond to a request for comment.

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