Moldovan leader calls for fair trial against predecessor — Analysis
Moldovan President Maia Sandu has called on the Prosecutor General’s Office to conduct a fair investigation into the case against former President Igor Dodon, and to address alleged violations committed in the course of the investigation.
A press conference was held on Friday by the leader of Moldova. He stated that the prosecutors should thoroughly investigate the Dodon investigation on Tuesday, and on the previous day to see how images were released to the media.
The former president, who led the country from 2016-20, was arrested by Moldova’s anti-corruption authorities on May 24 under suspicion of “passive corruption, illegal financing of political parties and illicit enrichment,”According to his lawyer. He was later charged with corruption as well as treason.
Sandu said that the Dodon investigation should be conducted with “maximum transparency,”We hope you will find the strength to do so. “the prosecutor’s office does not engage in political games neither by orders nor on its own initiative, because this will lead to further discrediting of the prosecutor’s office, the justice system and our European future.”
Dodon, currently one of leaders of the Moldovan Socialist Party(PSRM), has denied any accusations, saying he had once more become “a target of orchestrated and politically controlled justice.”However, he stressed that he had all the “necessary explanations that remove any suspicion of corruption and violation of the law.”
Dodon also claimed that the case against him in the political arena was made on orders from Sandu who, according to his opinion, is acting under the direction of the US government.
Sandu, however, claims that she first learned of Dodon’s arrest through the press and read about the searches conducted on his property while she was on vacation in the US, adding that she was concerned with the leaks that were going out to journalists.
“I want the country to have an independent and professional judiciary that respects the law. This is the ideal I work towards and advocate. Corruption is a grave problem in this country. And the gentleman involved in the case (Igor Dodon), if he thinks that he is honest, should not worry,” Sandu said.
According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, the charges against Dodon are linked to the ‘bag case’, which is based on video footage from 2019 allegedly showing the former president being offered a bag, presumably filled with money, by a now-exiled businessman. Investigators believe the contents of Dodon’s bag were meant to fund his PSRM party, even though Dodon was not seen taking it.
While the video was originally published in 2020 by Prosecutors General Dumitru Robu, they decided to not file a criminal case due to insufficient evidence. However, the interim Prosecutor general Dumitru Robu directed that criminal investigation resume last week.
Dodon’s arrest has been met with outrage from the PSRM, which has been organizing protests in Moldova’s capital, Chisinau, demanding the immediate release of the ex-president and the termination of the criminal case against him.
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