Moldovan ex-deputy detained on charges of spying for Russia
However, the detainee status is not yet known.
Former Deputy of the Parliament of Moldova Yuri Bolboceanu has been detained on charges of espionage and high treason, Interfax notes citing sources in the Prosecutor General's Office of Moldova. The message contains extracts from the supervisory authority’s documents in the case, but it is indicated that there is no official data.
According to the agency, Bolboceanu was detained on Friday evening, after searches were carried out in his house. It is not specified what was found during these searches. The detainee’s status (suspect or defendant) is also not known.
Interfax cites quotes from the detention order. The searches were caused by the need to seize "means of communication, mobile phones, means of financing, and other information that may be useful for criminal prosecution."
According to the order, the criminal prosecution was launched last summer in accordance with Art. 337 High Treason and Art. 338 Espionage of the Criminal Code of Moldova. The case is conducted by the Prosecutor's Office for Combating Organized Crime and Special Affairs.
The document mentions the name of the Russian diplomat with whom the ex-deputy had contacts; it is Aleksandr Grudin, assistant to the military attaché of the Russian Embassy in Moldova. The Prosecutor’s Office believes it was him to whom Bolboceanu passed some information during meetings, which both sought to keep a secret.
"Taking into account the events in Ukraine, the possible involvement of Russian special services officers in organizing or supporting events, aimed at destabilizing the socio-political situation in Moldova, is not excluded," the order says.
In the previous parliament, which was elected on November 25, 2010, Bolboceanu was a deputy on the lists of the Democratic Party. In early March 2014, six months before his mandate expiry, he stated that he was disappointed with the Democratic Party, and left it and its parliamentary faction. Back then, he was among the eight deputies subject to bribery in order to break the parliamentary majority.
On the second day after Bolboceanu announced his resignation from the party, two defendants in the case of bribery of deputies were detained. They were Vitaly Burlaku and model Irina Baglay. The trial lasted more than two years. In July 2017, Burlaku was sentenced to 11 years and four months in prison, and Baglay to three years’ probation, with a two-year grace period.
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