Former Moldovan President Igor Dodon has been detained on suspsicion of corruption and treason, the country’s prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday.
Marianna Kerpek, spokeswoman for the country’s Prosecutor General’s Office, said investigators carried out a search of his home and other premises before detaining him for 72 hours, Radio Free Europe reported.
The Kremlin said it was concerned at media reports that Dodon had been detained, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov calling on the Moldovan authorities to respect his rights.
The Prosecutor General’s Office said Mr Dodon, president from 2016 to 2020, is suspected of “passive corruption”, “obtaining funding by a political party from a criminal organization”, “illegal enrichment”, “Treason”.
According to the supervisory authority, during his presidency, Mr Dodon received a bribe from controversial businessman and then leader of the Democratic Party, Vladimir Plahotniuc.
In a video filmed in 2019 and published a year later, Igor Dodon receives a package from Plahotniuc. In the video the president says that “the money must be immediately given to Corneliu who has to pay salaries to activists.
A few later, Mr Plahotniuc left Moldova. In May 2020, the anti-corruption prosecutor’s office says there was no evidence of wrongdoing but the decision was overturned by the court.
The former president is known for his links with Russia and is suspected of receiving money from the Kremlin. As president he pursued a pro-Russian policy and called Russia Moldova’s most sincere friend and reliable partner.
He was defeated by pro-European candidate Maia Sandu in 2020.
Last week, Mr Dodon said he would fight the case.