Moldova’s high prosecutor suspended and detained in corruption case

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CHISINAU, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Moldovan President Maia Sandu’s authorities suspended the opposition-backed Prosecutor General Alexandru Stoianoglo who was detained by safety forces on Tuesday in a corruption case.

Sandu received the presidency on an anti-corruption ticket final yr and her authorities has prioritised cleansing up the justice system and the prosecutor common’s workplace.

Stoianoglo was appointed throughout the presidency of Sandu’s pro-Russian predecessor, Igor Dodon, in 2019.

He had been resulting from give a press convention at 6 p.m. native time (1500 GMT) however failed to look. Local media as an alternative confirmed masked safety forces coming into the prosecutor common’s workplace constructing to arrest him.

Separately, footage on Moldova’s TV8 channel later confirmed Stoianoglo being delivered to his residence whereas his home was searched. He was charged with abuse of workplace “in favour of … criminal groups” Victor Furtuna, a state prosecutor who initiated the investigation informed reporters.

“This is the settling of scores by President Maia Sandu,” Stoianoglo mentioned in feedback carried by native media. He stays in detention. His workplace couldn’t be reached for additional remark.

He has beforehand denied wrongdoing and mentioned his workplace had labored in accordance with the legislation. He accuses Sandu’s authorities of making an attempt to strain him to resign.

Justice Minister Serdgiu Litvinenco on Tuesday accused Stoianoglo of being a “puppet in the hands of large corrupt officials and thieves who have been robbing Moldova for decades”.

Moldova, a small nation of three.5 million that borders European Union member Romania, has been dogged by instability and corruption scandals lately, together with the disappearance of $1 billion from the banking system.

“Today an irreparable political mistake has been made with the arrest of Stoianoglo,” Dodon mentioned, describing the arrest as provoked by “the authorities’ fear of what Stoianoglo might say”.

Reporting by Alexander Tanas; enhancing by Matthias Williams and Emelia Sithole-Matarise