Former Moldovan president placed under house arrest for 30 days

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — A court in Moldova on Thursday placed former President Igor Dodon under house arrest for 30 days as he faces an investigation on suspicion of treason, corruption, illicit enrichment and illegal party funding.

The decision came after Dodon, who served as president of Moldova from 2016 to 2020 and leads the Eastern European country’s pro-Russian opposition bloc, was arrested at his home in the capital of Moldova on Tuesday. Chisinau after being searched by investigators.

Speaking as he left a courtroom on Thursday, Dodon claimed the charges against him were politically motivated and at the behest of foreign powers.

“It’s a political issue aimed at neutralizing the opposition,” Dodon said in a video posted by the Moldovan news site Protv.md. “It is strange and despicable that those who… have filled all the state institutions with foreign advisers, Romanians, Americans and Germans, who control all the institutions, accuse me of treason.”

Following Dodon’s arrest, senior anti-corruption prosecutor Elena Cazacov said the subjects of the police investigation were “primarily one of the former presidents of the Republic of Moldova and his relatives, but also other persons who have a connection with the commission of the alleged acts”.

Dodon has denied any wrongdoing. In a Facebook post on Tuesday, he wrote that he had explanations for all of the allegations.

“This is not the first time I have become the target of a politically driven and directed justice system,” he wrote.

One of the poorest countries in Europe, Moldova is a former Soviet republic that gained independence in 1991.

Russia maintains troops – nominally peacekeepers – in the breakaway Moldovan region of Transnistria, a disputed and Russian-backed breakaway state that borders southwestern Ukraine.

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