Ex-Moldovan President Dodon subjected to political harassment, says his lawyer

The Moldovan ex-president says the authorities are using the case to divert the public’s attention away from their political fiascos and from the rapidly deteriorating domestic economic situation

CHISINAU, May 26. /TASS/. Moldova’s former President Igor Dodon, who was taken into custody earlier this week, is being subjected to political pressure from the current regime and is kept in confinement under poor conditions, his lawyer Maxim Lebedinsky told journalists on Thursday.

“He has been deliberately placed in a pre-trial detention ward of the Chisinau Police Department, whose facilities are notorious for their poor conditions,” the lawyer noted. “The criminal investigation is being handled by the Center of the fight against corruption and it has its own pre-trial detention facility, however, Dodon was deliberately directed to the notorious pre-trial center.”

“They [the authorities] are trying to intimidate him, leaving him no chances to speak out,” Lebedinsky continued. “In this case, it is an obvious infringement of the [defendant’s] right to defense.”

“He should have an opportunity to make public statements just like the prosecution, who speak to the media saying everything they want before the investigative measures are over,” the lawyer stressed.

According to Lebedinsky, improper media coverage of the developments led the general public to believe that enormous sums of money were confiscated from Dodon, but “this is not true.”

The Moldovan Prosecutor’s Office accused Dodon on Wednesday of committing crimes as defined under article 324 (passive corruption), article 1812 (the financing of a political party recognized as a criminal organization), article 337 (treason) and article 330.2 (illicit enrichment) and demanded his arrest for 30 days.

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On May 24, prosecutors searched the house of the former head of state and also other premises.

The Moldovan ex-president says the authorities are using the case to divert the public’s attention away from their political fiascos and from the rapidly deteriorating domestic economic situation. He vowed not to flee the country and was ready to stand up to his foes.

He has stressed that he had sufficient proof of his innocence. For its part, the Party of Socialists came out with a statement that it would go ahead with protests demanding Dodon’s release and that the authorities end their political persecution of him. The socialists accuse President Maia Sandu and the ruling Party of Action and Solidarity of attempts to intimidate political opponents and establish a dictatorship.

After the 2021 election, Dodon stepped down as the party’s leader to become the head of the Moldovan-Russian Business Union.

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